Ragin’ Cajuns Win Streak Ends In Athens
All good things must come to an end. Louisiana's eight game win streak concluded in Athens on Wednesday, at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs.
Georgia denied the Ragin' Cajuns of their bread and butter all night long, limiting them to only two points in transition in the 73-60 defeat. The Bulldogs held the Cajuns thirty points under their season average and harassed them in the paint all night long.
It was a cold night in Athens from the floor, as Louisiana missed their first nine field goals and dug themselves into a double-digit defecit within the first four minutes of the game. They had to play catchup the entire game, and Georgia never let go of their lead.
The silver linings for the Cajuns were Bryce Washington, Frank Bartley and freshman Justin Miller.
Washington set a new career-high with 18 rebounds and collected his ninth double-double of the season with 11 points on top of his prime performance on the glass, and he battled Georgia's Yante Maten all night long. He even earned the respect of hoops aficionado Jay Bilas for his grit on the glass.
Speaking of double-doubles, Frank Bartley picked up his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, even though he only shot 3-13 from the floor.
Last but not least, Miller set a new career high with four made threes, and he fueled a 12-4 run at the end of the first half that spiced up the competition. He ended with 17 points, but he dealt with foul trouble in the second half that only allowed him to tack on three points to his incredible start.
The Cajuns had a hard time getting anything easy, all night long. They only shot 29 percent from the floor (19-66 FG), largely due to the play of Maten and his partner Derek Ogbeide.
Maten and Ogbeide combined for 11 blocks on the night, and they altered shots left and right to make things difficult for Louisiana down low. Maten, an obvious NBA prospect, played like a beast for 18 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks, while Ogbeide had six swats and 13 rebounds to compliment the Bulldog's star.
There was a point in the game when the Cajuns had a chance to make it a one possession game, and they hung tight for the majority of the middle portion of the game, but Georgia held tight and didn't panic. Their lead ballooned at the end and made the game seem like more of a blowout than it was, but a moral victory isn't what Head Coach Bob Marlin was searching for.
Louisiana will look to start a new streak this weekend in the Crecent City against the UNO Privateers, and their 8-3 start to the 2016 season is still a beautiful beginning to what could be a promising and exciting year.