Cajuns Basketball Struggles in Second Half, Lose Regular Season Finale 69-59
The Louisiana men's basketball team struggled on offense in the second half of their second straight matchup with the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans, losing their final game of the regular season 69-59.
After a competitive first half, the Ragin' Cajuns entered the break down 32-30. The two teams had very similar stats to open the game, with the Cajuns hitting 12 of their first 27 shots while the Trojans went 13-30 in the half.
The Cajuns' offense slowed to a halt in the second half, with the team starting 2-16 from the field, but they kept the game close with defense and free throws. However, the poor shooting continued, and the Cajuns finished 8-33 from the field in the second half. The Trojans were able to build a double-digit lead late in the half without a response from the Cajuns' offense.
With the loss, the Cajuns fell to 16-8 on the season and 10-7 in Sun Belt Conference play. Senior guard Cedric Russell led the team in scoring with 13 points. Junior forward Theo Akwuba added a double-double for Louisiana in the game with 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Louisiana head coach Bob Marlin was not happy with the second-half performance and his team's overall inconsistency.
"I thought we played poorly," Marlin said. "We didn't play as a team at all in the second half. I was disappointed with the way we played."
"We've got to learn how to handle success," Marlin added. "We've beaten the best team in the league three out of four tries but we've got to beat everybody."
Looking forward to next weekend, the Cajuns will play their first game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Saturday as the two seed from the West Division. Coach Marlin emphasized the importance of having a first-round bye next Friday.
"Clinching the extra day was important," Marlin said. "We'll be prepared once we get to Pensacola, and we get to scout the first game which is an advantage."