Cajuns Go For Road Split; Face Georgia Southern Tonight
It doesn't get any easier for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.
After battling back from a 20-point first half deficit only to fall short at Georgia State, Louisiana (14-9, 4-6 Sun Belt) now takes on league co-leader Georgia Southern in a game slated for 6 pm at the Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, GA.
The game can be heard on ESPN 1420 and HOT 107.9 and worldwide on the radioPup app.
In that 85-82 loss on Saturday, guards Frank Bartley IV and Jay Wright combined for 51 points, eight rebounds, eleven assists, three steals and just one turnover, but the Panthers were able to hold off the furious rally and take their seventh straight win.
Now it's on to Statesboro, where the Eagles (15-8, 8-2) are coming off a 76-62 win over ULM Saturday in Statesboro. In that game, the Eagles roared out to a 15-point halftime lead and were never headed. The trio of guards Ike Smith, Tookie Brown and Mike Hughes continued to lead the Eagles as Smith, the league's leading scorer, led the way with 22 points, while Hughes added 17 and Brown 15. Georgia Southern has won 11 of its last 14 games and has lost only once at Hanner Fieldhouse this season.
"I thought we had really good energy at practice (last night)," guard Johnathan Stove said. "It was a carry over from the last ten minutes of (Saturday's) game. I think we'll be ready."
THE LAST MEETING--GEORGIA SOUTHERN 81, LOUISIANA 76, JAN. 14, 2017
The Cajuns' strategy was to limit Georgia Southern's propensity to make the three point shot and that worked as the Eagles took only eleven shots from the bonusphere, making four.
But the Eagles' Ike Smith and Tookie Brown repeatedly beat the Cajun defenders off the dribble and got easy baskets inside to lead Georgia Southern to an 81-76 win before 5,464, the largest crowd of the season at the Cajundome.
Smith, the league's leading scorer, led the way with 28 points while Brown added 19. Georgia Southern also had a big advantage at the free throw line, making 29-37 from the charity stripe while the Cajuns were just 13-22. Jay Wright led Louisiana with 21 points. Johnathan Stove added 18 and Bryce Washington had a double double with 16 points and 12 boards.
Louisiana had a three point lead with 13:38 to play, but the Eagles then went on a 10-0 run and never trailed again.