Cajuns Go for Five in a Row, Entertain Texas State
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns look for their fifth straight win Thursday night when they entertain Texas State at the Cajundome. Game time is scheduled for 7:15 pm.
It will be the second meeting between the two schools this season. Louisiana took a 79-73 win in San Marcos back on January 21st.
Texas State (17-11, 10-6 Sun Belt) has been one of the surprise teams in the league this year. The Bobcats were picked dead last in the coaches' poll at the beginning of the season, but have battled their way into contention for a first round bye. Texas State has clinched its first winning season in 14 years.
The Bobcats are led by current Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week and All-Conference candidate Kavin Gilder-Tilbury. The Houston senior leads the club in scoring (16.7) steals (37) and blocked shots (28). He's also second on the club in rebounding (5.7). Freshman Nijal Pearson is the other double figure scorer at 12.9 points per game and leads the club in rebounding (5 9).
Louisiana (18--11, 8-8) has won four straight, with three of those wins coming on the road. The Cajuns swept their recent road trip with wins over Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State. Head coach Bob Marlin recorded his 350th Division I career win in Boone Monday night. Texas State, ironically, is the only other school to sweep those two teams on the road this season.
The game features a contrast in styles. Louisiana leads the league in scoring offense (81.2) and is 11th in scoring defense (75.7). Texas State, meanwhile, leads the league in scoring defense (62.9) but is last in the league in scoring (67.0)
THE LAST MEETING--LOUISIANA 79, TEXAS STATE 73--Jay Wright and Frank Bartley combined for 43 points on 16-22 shooting to lead the Cajuns to the win. The Cajun guards were 5-8 from three point range in the contest. Wright overcame eight second half turnovers to score 19 points after intermission. Freshman Justin Miller had 17 points and eight rebounds.
Louisiana led just 19-18 but went on a 14-3 run to jump out to a 33-21 lead and carried a 37-28 advantage into halftime. Texas State closed to within 39-33, but a 9-0 run pushed the lead to 48-33 and the Cajuns were never headed after that.
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury led Texas State with 22 points on 8-14 shooting, including 5-9 from three point range. Nijal Pearson chipped in 18 points for the Bobcats.