Wright Leads Ragin’ Cajuns To Sixth Straight Win
Don't look now, but the Cajuns are streaking. The Cajuns improved their win streak to six games by throttling an in-state opponent, and they almost scored 100 in back-to-back games.
The Ragin' Cajuns dominated McNeese State in their own house for a 92-72 win, which marked the first time in 11 meetings between the two squads that the home team didn't come out victorious. The Cajuns outrebounded the Cowboys, 48-14, which is a mind-boggling margin that's hard to wrap your head around. To put it in perspective, Bryce Washington had more rebounds (15) than the entire McNeese team (14), and the Cajuns came up with 19 offensive rebounds as they wiped the glass clean.
It was an impressive win and an outstanding outing from Jay Wright. The senior set a career high with 28 points, and he hounded the Cowboys' guards all game long with four steals and a block. Johnathan Stove also set a career high with 20 points, and the two guards combined to shoot 24-27 from the free throw line.
Speaking of the charity stripe, the Cajuns lit it up from the line. They shot 86 percent (31-36 FT) and continued to look for contact to get easy points on the board. Their shots weren't falling from the floor to start the game, so they looked to the line instead, and they made it count.
The game swung on it's head midway through the first half. Due to the poor shooting start from the Cajuns, McNeese jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first ten minutes. Then, the Cajuns made 11 of their next 15 field goals and went on a 19-0 run to steal the lead before halftime. Once they took the lead away from the Cowboys, they never gave it back.
After struggling to put the ball through the basket, the Cajuns ended up shooting 48 percent (28-58), and Frank Bartley found his stroke in the second half to add on 21 points to the effort, two points more than his season average.
In a game where Louisiana couldn't buy a bucket to start (they didn't hit their first jump shot until about six minutes left in the first half), they adapted their offensive approach and picked up their second largest margin of victory of the year.
Wright, Stove and Bartley all broke the 20 point barrier, and Washington collected a dominant double-double (10 points, 15 rebounds) down low. The leaders took control of the game from the get-go, and they carried the team past another in-state opponent.
With the win, the Cajuns improve to 6-2 on the season, their best start since Shawn Long and Elfrid Payton got the team all the way to the NCAA Tournament in 2014. It's too far out to start putting this team in the postseason, but the pieces are falling into place to build something special.