The Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team shot below 30 percent in the first half and fell behind double figures and never caught up to Duquesne in an 84-65 loss Saturday evening at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh.
UL (3-4) shot 22.2 percent (8-for-36) in the opening stanza, which was the lowest percentage for a half this season, meanwhile DU (4-2) rimmed home 59.3 percent (16-of-27) of its shots in laying claim to a 44-23 halftime edge.
J.J. Thomas hit a jumper in the lane at 19:48 to start the second half and begin a string of five unanswered for UL to that trimmed the deficit to 44-28. Turnovers, though, led to a string of five unanswered points that stretched the Dukes’ lead to 49-28 by the 16:54 mark.
Louisiana answered with baskets from Elfrid Payton on back-to-back possessions the last coming at 15:58 cutting the Duquesne lead to 49-32.
A T.J. McConnell three-point make at 15:08 following a Duquesne timeout and B.J. Monteiro fastbreak layup at 14:45 extended the lead back over 20 points.
The Cajuns closed within 15 points, 64-49, with 9:00 remaining on a Bryant Mbamalu triple from the right wing. As was the case any time UL dropped the deficit under 20 points, the Dukes managed to answer with a run that pushed the lead back over 20 points.
After Mbamalu’s triple, the Dukes received 3-pointers from Jerry Jones and Mike Talley and the lead grew to 70-49 with 7:27 left to play.
Turnovers caused as much damage as shooting for the Cajuns. Louisiana committed 21 turnovers which the Dukes cashed in for 31 points.
UL shot a season-low 34.3 percent (24-of-70) from the field. DU finished the night at 50 percent (28-of-56).
Louisiana wraps up its two-game road trip to the northeast on Monday, Nov. 28 in Kent, Ohio, against Kent State. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CST).
Kadeem Coleby led the Cajuns with 11 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double at the Division I level. Coleby reached double figures in points for the fourth straight game and shattered his previous season-high of rebounds (4).
Raymone Andrews and David Perez each buried three 3-point baskets and were the second and third leading scorers for UL with 10 and 9 points, respectively.
Six different players scored in double figures for Duquesne. Sean Johnson and Monteiro tied for the team-lead with 16 points.
Louisiana lost in its first opportunity to move above the .500 mark in the Bob Marlin era. The Cajuns also fell to 0-4 this season when the opposition shoots above 40 percent.
Saturday’s game marked the first meeting all-time between the two programs. Duquesne will return UL’s visit during the 2012-13 season.
The Dukes broke an early 2-all tie with a 9-0 run from 17:43 through 16:31. The hosts received five points from Johnson and four from Monteiro.
A Coleby putback off a Thomas miss at 15:41 broke the Duquesne run, but a couple of turnovers led to baskets by Johnson that moved the lead into double figures, 15-4, at the 14:27 mark.
Perez converted three 3-pointers to provide offense for UL and help the squad keep pace with the Dukes’ fast start. Perez’s third triple came at 8:58 and cut the deficit to 26-15.
Louisiana lowered the Duquesne into single digits when a pair of Scottie Farrington free throws with 5:50 remaining in the opening stanza made it 28-19.
The Cajuns were victimized by another lengthy run from the Dukes as an 11-0 scoring spree following Farrington’s freebies opened a 20-point edge just before the one minute mark.
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