Cajuns’ Lead Wire to Wire in Win Over Texas State, 81-58
Monday night’s game between Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns and the Texas State Bobcats featured team with contrasting styles.
The Cajuns’ style worked better as Louisiana easily defeated Texas State 81-58 in a regionally televised game at the Cajundome.
The Cajuns, who led the Sun Belt in scoring offense, were able to make their transition style offense work and were just too athletic for the Bobcats (5-12, 1-3 Sun Belt) as the Cajuns remained undefeated at home with an 8-0 record.
Elfrid Payton led three double-figure scorers with 21 points. Shawn Long added eighteen and Bryant Mbamalu scored in double digits for the first time this season with 14 points. Payton added seven assists and six steals for the Cajuns, who forced 18 Bobcats’ turnovers. Long led the Cajuns in rebounding with nine.
The Cajuns (11-5, 2-1 Sun Belt) led by two points in the first half, 8-6, but a dunk by Payton started a 10-2 run that increased the Cajuns lead to 18-8. Both Mbamalu and Long hit triples for the Cajuns during that run. Texas State was only able to get the deficit into single digits the rest of the way. Leading by seven with 11:13 left in the half, the Cajuns went on another 10-4 run to increase the lead to 16 points, 21-15 with 6;55 to go until intermission. The Cajuns maintained the lead the rest of the half and led 42-26 at halftime.
Louisiana forced nine first half turnovers, while only committing three miscues during the first half. Louisianaq shot 58.3 percent in the first half, including 5-9 from beyond the arc.
Emani Gant scored the first bucket for Texas State in the first half to cut the lead to fourteen, but that would be the closest the Bobcats would get in the second half. A layup by Payton, another layup from Mbamalu and a jumper by J. J. Davenport increased the lead to 48-28. The Cajuns led by as many as 24 points in the second half.
Joel Wright led Texas State with 17 points and ten rebounds, but also turned it over eight times, one fewer than the Cajuns had as a team. Gant added twelve points for the Bobcats.
The Cajuns now take to the road as they meet South Alabama in Mobile this Thursday night at 7:05.