Cajuns Outlast Warhawks, 69-60
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns raced out to a 12 point halftime lead and withstood a ULM second half rally to defeat the Warhawks 69-60 Saturday night at the Cajundome before 4,714 fans, the second largest home crowd of the season.
Jay Wright led four Cajuns in double figures with 16 points, while freshman P. J. Hardy added 14 off the bench. Johnathan Stove chipped in ten points, while Bryce Washington scored 10 points and hauled in a career high 21 rebounds as the Cajuns (12-4, 2-1 Sun Belt) improved to 8-0 at home.
Marvin Jean-Pierre led ULM with 16 points, while Jordan Harris tallied 14 and Sam McDaniel was the third Warhawk inn double figures with eleven.
"We expected to see a lot of zone from them but we thought it would be a 2-3," head coach Bob Marlin said. "But they came out in a 1-3-1 and it caused us problems. But P. J. (Hardy) loosened it up with some big shots in the first half."
ULM led 22-21 at the 7:09 mark of the first half after a Travis Munnings three pointer, but Jerekious Davis scored on a layup to give the Cajuns a lead they would never relinquish. That began a 9-0 Cajuns run that increased the lead to 30-21 with 4:30 left in the first half and the Cajuns led 41-29 at the break.
But ULM (6-10, 0-3) opened the second half on a 15-3 run with Harris scoring nine points to forge a 44-44 tie with 15:37 remaining. But Justin Miller scored inside, Hardy hit a triple and Miller scored again to give the Cajuns a 51-44 lead at the 11.17 mark.
The Warhawks closed to within two points on three different occasions, the last on a McDaniel layup with 5:57 to play. But the Cajuns' defense clamped down, allowing ULM to make only one of their next eight shots. Stove's three pointer with five minutes left increased the lead to five and the Warhawks never threatened again.
"We won without playing our best," Marlin said. "They came in with a good game plan and it gave us some problems, but we made the plays when we had to. Bryce was great on the boards tonight, but we need to give him some help there."
The Cajuns will continue the home stand next Saturday night when they host Georgia Southern at the Cajundome.