Georgia Southern Trips Cajuns 81-76
The two top scorers in the Sun Belt, Ike Smith and Tookie Brown, combined for 47 points to lead Georgia Southern to an 81-76 win over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns before 5,464 at the Cajundome Saturday night.
Smith had a game high 28 points on 9-17 shooting, including 8-11 from the free throw line, while Brown added 18 on a 6-14 evening, making 6-7 free throws.
"Their guards were better than ours tonight," head coach Bob Marlin said. "We gave them 59% in the second half and that was the difference."
All season long, the Cajuns (12-5, 2-2 Sun Belt) had success in getting to the free throw line more often in their opponents and had outrebounded their opposition by more than eight boards per game. But those numbers were reversed Saturday as the Eagles (11-6, 4-0) secured more rebounds (36-34) and beat the Cajuns on the free throw line, making 29-37, while Louisiana was just 13-22.
Jay Wright led the Cajuns with 21 points, while Johnathon Stove added 18 while Bryce Washington had another double double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cajuns succeeded in limiting Georgia Southern's three point game, allowing just 4-11 from beyond the arc. The Eagles had been averaging over nine made triples per game. But Louisiana was ice cold from the perimeter, shooting just 3-18 from the bonusphere.
The Cajuns held a 36-30 halftime lead but the Eagles took the lead for good on a Mike Hughes layup at the 12:50 mark and never trailed again Georgia Southern increased the lead to double digits, 66-56 on a Brown three pointer with 5:03 to play. The Cajuns never got within one possession until Wright's three pointer cut the margin to three with :06 remaining.
The Eagles outscored the Cajuns 22-4 from the free throw line in the second half.
"Jay (Wright) had a good game for us," Marlin said. But we just weren't good enough from the other spots." Wright had a blocked shot and four steals in the game, while shooting 8-14 from the field and 3-7 from three point range.
The Cajuns will attempt to win the three game homestand Monday night when they entertain Georgia State at 7:05 at the Cajundome.