Cajuns Secure 2 Seed in West, Beat Little Rock 66-61
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball team earned the two seed in the Sun Belt West Division and a first-round bye in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a 66-61 victory in Little Rock over the Trojans.
With the win, the Cajuns improved to 10-6 in Sun Belt Conference play and 16-7 overall. Junior forward Theo Akwuba led the team in scoring with 13 points on 6-8 shooting from the field. He also collected seven rebounds. Freshman guard Ty Harper added 12 points.
The Cajuns offense got hot in the second half, shooting 51% from the field as a team, making 17 of their 33 shots after only hitting 8 of their first 30 shots in the first half. They outscored Little Rock 46-38 in the second half to come back and secure the win.
Head coach Bob Marlin was happy with the team's second-half performance after a sluggish start to the game.
"In the second half, we got off to a really nice start," Marlin said. "We got a double-digit lead and we held on."
The issue for the Cajuns in the second half came with fouling. They kept Little Rock scoreless from the field for multiple stretches, but they fouled the Trojans 13 times in the second half and allowed them to shoot 19 free throws to keep them in it. Both teams struggled from the free throw line, as Little Rock made only 21 of 34 attempts while the Cajuns hit 10 of 18.
"We fought through some foul trouble," Marlin said. "We were short-handed down the stretch. It was a tough game to officiate, but I'm glad we came out on top."
Marlin was happy about his team's opportunity to get an extra rest day in before the team travels to Pensacola, Florida for the Sun Belt Conference Tournament next weekend.
"This will be another year that we got a bye," Marlin said. "We can go to Pensacola a day late and only play on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, so that's a leg up."
Next up, the Cajuns play Arkansas-Little Rock for the second consecutive game in the regular-season finale on Saturday at 4 p.m. Pregame begins on the radio at 3:30, and can be heard on Classic Rock 105.1, classicrock,1051.com and the Classic Rock 105.1 app.