Streaking Cajuns Dump UT Arlington, 90-75
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns made it six straight wins Saturday, defeating UT Arlington, 90-75 before 3,989 at the Cajundome Saturday.
Shawn Long earned his 66th career double double to lead four Cajuns in double figures as the Cajuns pulled away after a 42-42 halftime score. Long scored 22 points and hauled in 15 rebounds in the contest and blocked six shots Bryce Washington added 16 points, 13 in the second half, while Jay Wright added 13 points and Steven Wronkoski chipped in eleven.
Erick Neal tallied 20 points for UTA (14-6, 5-4 Sun Belt), which lost its third straight game. Jalen Jones added fifteen for the Mavericks.
"I thought we defended really well in the second half," Coach Bob Marlin said. "We stayed in front of our guys for the most part. And, we made good decisions on offense and kept our turnovers down."
The Cajuns had 15 turnovers in the game, but only five after intermission. "Five is a good number given the pace of the game," Marlin said.
Louisiana (11-8, 7-3) jumped out to an 11-0 lead as Washington opened with a putback of a missed shot, Wright hit a three point shot and Wronkoski drilled back to back triples. But UTA answered with a 12-2 run as Jones and Drew Charles combined for eight points. The game was a back and forth affair the rest of the first half with the Mavericks getting a three point lead after a Neal layup with 7:49 to go. The Cajuns came back to take a five point lead after Long, who went 10-10 from the free throw line, sank a pair at the 4:15 mark before the Mavericks came back to the the game at the half.
The game was tied for the 13th and final time at 48 apiece after a Kennedy Eubanks free throw with 15:55 left, but Washington hit a layup a half minute later to put the Cajuns up for good. The Cajuns led by four at the under 12 media timeout but took command from there as Washington scored on a three point play, Long hit a layup and a pair of free throws and Wright ended the 10-0 run with a three to give the Cajuns a 70-56 advantage with 8:40 to go. UTA got the lead down to seven points, the last time with 4:59 to go. But the Cajuns then scored the next nine points to take an 83-67 lead with 2:48 left.
The Cajuns shot 54.2% (26-48) for the game and made 9-18 three point shots. UTA shot 46.6% and made 8-14 beyond the arc with the fewest attempts from the bonusphere they've had all season. Louisiana outscored UTA at the charity stripe, making 29-34 to 13-23 for the Mavericks.
Washington added nine rebounds to his 16 points as the Cajuns took a commanding 37-24 rebounding advantage. Johnathan Stove led the Cajuns with six assists to go with eight points.
"I didn't like the way Johnathan played in the first half and we challenged him at halftime. We ran a play and he got a good pass inside to Bryce on our first possession and I was really happy with the way he (Stove) responded in the second half," Marlin said.
The Cajuns will wrap up their five game homestand Tuesday night against UL Monroe at the Cajundome.