Hilltoppers Get By Cajuns, 75-72
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns have played some memorable games against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
Thursday night was another one fans will be talking about for a long time.
George Fant scored 18 points and WKU made 21-26 free throws in the second half to defeat the Ragin' Cajuns 75-72 before 4,810 fans at E. A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, KY.
Chris Harrison-Docks drilled a three pointer as time expired in the first half to give the Hilltoppers (20-10, 12-5 Sun Belt) a 37-34 lead and then went 10-10 from the free throw line to keep the Cajuns (19-11. 10-7) at bay down the stretch.
The last two free throws by the redshirt freshman with 5.7 seconds left extended the WKU lead to three points and Payton's attempt to tie was off the front of the rim as time expired.
Fant hit 6-15 shots from the field and 6-10 from the line to lead WKU. Harrison-Docks added 15, T. J. Price scored 13 and O'Karo Akumane added ten.
Elfrid Payton led Louisiana with 31 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Xavian Rimmer added 14 for the Cajuns.
The game was back and fourth in the second half. WKU took its biggest lead, 61-53 before the Cajuns came back. The Hilltoppers never trailed in the second half.
Louisiana dominated the rebound category, 47-35, but shot just 36 percent for the game. The Cajuns' defense kept them in the game in the second half as they held WKU to 30.8% in after intermission.
WKU held the Cajuns' Shawn Long and Bryant Mbamalu to just 3-18 shooting and just five points apiece.
Louisiana is now tied for third place with Arkansas State and the two teams will meet in Jonesboro, AR Saturday night to break that tie. Western Kentucky earned the number two seed and a double bye to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Tournament with the win.