The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns defeated the McNeese Cowboys on Tuesday night at McNeese 80-67 during non-conference play.

The Cajuns were heading into this match-up with the Cowboys without their best player in Jakeenan Gant, undoubtedly it was going to be an uphill battle and the team needed some guys to step up.

Early on in this one Louisiana was trailing 8-5 until they went on a 14-4 run to grab the lead at 19-12 as Malik Marquetti fueled the scoring by hitting back to back three-pointers.

Marquetti would continue his hot start for UL as we went into halftime with him shooting 4-6 from downtown to lead the way with 16 points. Marcus Stroman also chipped in with 10 points and three assists. The defense was tenacious for the Cajuns as they forced 14 Cowboy turnovers but were getting beat on the boards 26-18 facing a bigger team without Gant.

As we closed in on the halfway point of the second half Louisiana clung to a 52-49 lead as they were getting outrebounded still but what was keeping them in the lead was the fact they were beating the Cowboys on points off turnovers 18-4.

As we got down the stretch it was just too much Cajun power from Louisiana as they would outscore McNeese 38-34 in the second half and win it 80-67.

As a team, they put up 72 shots (30-72) and 30 from three-point range (9-30). The team was outrebounded badly without Gant 47-32 but that didn't matter as the defense was solid for UL as they forced 23 McNeese turnovers and took care of the ball with only 11 turnovers of their own. Not only did the Cajuns turn over the Cowboys but those turnovers resulted in points for UL as they put in 27 points off of those turnovers.

Malik Marquetti poured in a career-high 29 points and shot 7-for-11 from downtown. Marcus Stroman also had a solid overall game as he chipped in 20 points, eight assists, and three steals. Filling in for Jakeenan Gant, Jarekus Davis scored 12 points and came away with four steals.

With the victory, the Cajuns improve to 8-4 on the season before they take an 11-day break for the holidays. They'll take Southeast Lousiana in their next contest on Saturday, December 29th in Hammond at 4 p.m.

 

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