Cajuns Try to Sweep Texas Swing Against UTA
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns will try to get a sweep of their two game road trip when they take on pre-season Sun Belt favorite UTA (14-5, 4-2) Monday night at the College Park Center.
Tipoff is scheduled for 8 pm and will be televised on the American Sports Network.
Louisiana (13-6, 3-3) defeated Texas State 79-73 in San Marcos Saturday afternoon to advance their road record on the season to 5-4.
UTA has a couple of impressive road wins this season, defeating Texas at Austin and taking a victory over then-#12 St. Mary’s (CA). The Mavericks are 7-0 at home this season after defeating ULM 71-56 Saturday.
The Mavericks are led by pre-season Sun Belt Player of the Year Kevin Hervey. The junior from Arlington leads the Mavericks in scoring (15.4) and rebounding (7.5). Point guard Erick Neal is also a pre-season first team all-league selection and is third on the team in scoring (10.3) and is the league leader in assists at 6.8 apg.
The Cajuns are 5-2 against UTA since the Mavericks joined the league in the 2013-14 season. The Mavericks won the last meeting in overtime, 84-83.
This is the first of two meetings between the two schools this season. The Cajuns will host UTA in the final home game of the regular season on March 4.
LAST YEARS’ MEETINGS
LOUISIANA 90, UTA 75–January 30, 2016–Cajundome: Louisiana jumped out to an 11-0 lead, saw UTA come back to take a three point lead late in the first half, but the Cajuns’ Bryce Washington hit a layup at the 15:15 mark of the second half and the Cajuns never trailed again. A 10-0 run increased the lead to 70-56 at the 8:14 mark of the second half and the Mavericks never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
Shawn Long led the way with 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Cajuns, including a 10-10 effort from the free throw line, while Washington added 16 points and nine rebounds. Jay Wright chipped in 13 points while Steven Wronkoski added eleven.
Neal scored 20 points and added seven assists for UTA, while Jalen Jones tallied 15 points. The Cajuns shot over 50% in both halves and made 29-34 free throws. The Cajuns were 9-18 from the three point line with Wright and Wronkoski nailing three apiece. The Cajuns outrebounded the Mavericks 37-24.
UTA 84, LOUISIANA 83 (OT)–February 18, 2016–College Park Center: Jalen Jones hit a step-back three pointer with nine seconds remaining to give the Mavericks a come-from-behind win. Bryce Washington’s layup with 25 seconds left to give the Cajuns a two point lead before Jones’ game winner.
Louisiana has a 42-29 lead at the half after holding UTA to just 25% shooting in the first stanza. Louisiana still had an eleven point lead at the 5:32 mark of the second half. But the Mavericks outscored the Cajuns 15-4 down the stretch, with Jones’ layup with :37 left tying the score. UTA never led in the OT until Jones hit the game winner. It was UTA’s first lead since 9-8.
Jones led UTA with 23 points while Kaelon Wilson added 20 and also had ten rebounds.. Neal scored 19 and had six assists before fouling out.
Shawn Long had 28 points and 18 rebounds, but shot just 7-16 from the free throw line after making 10-10 in the first meeting. Kasey Shepherd, Jay Wright and Johnathan Stove were also in double figures. Louisiana shot just 58% from the free throw line in the game.