Cajuns Ride Waves, 90-64 For Tenth Win
Before the game with Pepperdine Tuesday night, Louisiana coach Bob Marlin said the best defensive team would win.
Boy, was he right.
The Ragin' Cajuns forced visiting Pepperdine into 24 turnovers, and outscored the visitors 27-6 in points off turnovers in taking an easy 90-64 win over the Waves before 3,582 at the Cajundome.
It's the first time the Cajuns have garnered ten wins (10-3) prior to conference play since the 1990-91 season.
Junior Bryce Washington took over the national lead in double doubles, scoring 19 points and hauling in ten rebounds. Senior Jay Wright made 9-11 shots from the floor enroute to 18 points. Freshman Jerekius Davis scored a career-high 13 points, while freshman P. J. Hardy added 12, hitting four of five shots from beyond the arc.
"Jay does such a good job of playing downhill and hitting that 15 foot jumper on the run," head coach Bob Marlin said. "He hurt his foot against UNO and we feared it might be broken, but he was able to go tonight. He'll be pretty sore tomorrow but we have a break coming up at a good time."
Pepperdine was led by graduate transfer Chris Reyes with 14 points. Lamond Murray, Jr. who came into the game averaging nearly 21 points per game was helf to nine points on 4-10 shooting, including 0-4 from three point range. Murray came into the game shooting 52% from the bonusphere.
The Cajuns were just too athletic for the visitors as Louisiana repeatedly forced the visitors into mistakes and cashed in on the other end, outscoring Pepperdine 12-0 on fast break points.
The Cajuns led 13-12 at the 11:11 mark before going on an 8-0 run to increase the lead to nine points, 21-12 The lead was still at nine points, 32-23 before Louisiana closed on a 9-3 run to take a 41-26 lead into the locker room.
"We were getting by them on defense and they switched to a zone, but P. J. (Hardy) cut them up pretty good and we were able to extend the lead," Marlin said.
Pepperdine cut a 19 point advantage to 13 with 13:52 to go, but got no closer as the Cajuns methodically stretched out their lead and never led the lead get under twenty points in the final 9:07.
The Cajuns shot a blistering 65.6% in the second half and had a 12:3 assist/turnover ration in the second half. For the game, Louisiana shot 55.9% while hitting 8-18 from three point range.
The Cajuns will now get to enjoy the holidays with their families before beginning their preparation for their Sun Belt Conference opener at Arkansas State on December 31 at 5:00pm.