Cajuns – UALR Game Preview: Don’t Expect A Rerun
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns are at home with first place on the line tonight when they face West-Division leader Arkansas-Little Rock. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 tonight and will be heard on the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Radio Network (espn1420, Hot 107.9, 1240 KANE.)
The Cajuns (14-11, 8-3 Sun Belt) are meeting the Trojans (11-13, 8-2) for the second time. Louisiana defeated UALR 68-49 back on January 19th.
But if you're looking for a repeat in the first game, think again.
In the first meeting, the Trojans had more offensive rebounds (16-12), took more shots (67-51). had half as many turnovers (11-22), had more blocked shots (4-2) and steals (5-3). They had 18 points off turnovers to three for Louisiana.
Yet they lost by nineteen.
And the reason was simple. UALR couldn't put the ball in the basket. The Trojans missed fifty shots in the game.
They shot 25 percent in each half. They were 2-18 from three point range. Their top three scorers, D'Andre Williams, Chuck Guy and Will Neighbour, were a combined 7-34, 1-12 from beyond the arc.
And, despite having more offensive rebounds, the Trojans got out-boarded 52-35.
Chances are, that isn't going to happen again.
For the Cajuns to win, they'll have to continue to play good defense, but that happens more often than not.
If the Cajuns are going to sweep the season series and take over first place in the West, there are some things besides good defense, the Cajuns will need to do:
Continue to concentrate on the big three. Chances are at least one of Neighbour, Williams and Guy is going to have a good game. Make sure they all don't step forward.
Cut down on the turnovers. They'll have more than UALR, who averages fewer than twelve per game. But 22 is way too many.
Keep them off the line. They're a pretty good shooting FT team and they got there 46 times against ULM.
Limit their second chances. The Cajuns can outrebound this team again, but there won't be as many defensive rebounds in this game. They have to make sure they get a solid majority there.
The Cajuns will have their best perimeter defender available in this game. Raymone Andrews played only eleven minutes in the first matchup while still suffering the effects of a hip pointer.
A win by Louisiana would give them a tie-breaking advantage over every team in the West, in the event there is a tie-breaker necessary to decide the division champion.
(Information from the UL and UALR Sports Information Departments and burnthehorse.com contributed to this story.)