The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns came into Saturday’s contest against Troy in what felt like a must-win game. The game was close almost the whole way through with neither able to have a large lead. The Cajuns were able to take over late and win 69-59.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
On Troy’s first possession, Khalyl Waters got the first bucket of the game after the Ragin’ Cajuns Theo Akwuba smoked his layup attempt. Akwuba got it back and tied it at two a couple of possessions later, but Louisiana wouldn’t score another point for the next four minutes. In that time, Troy’s Efe Odigie hit a three pointer and TK Smith knocked down a couple of free throws.
At the 14:20 mark of the first half, Greg Williams Jr ended the Cajuns scoring drought with a three pointer with Michael Thomas making one from the charity stripe on their next possession. Duke Deen would only make one of his two free throws with Williams Jr coming right back with a layup to tie the game at eight.
There was some back-and-forth scoring between both teams with Odigie, then Dou Gueye each hitting a jump shot. Joe Charles was able to give the Cajuns the lead, but the Trojans took it right back after Deen made a three. Gueye scored five of Louisiana’s next six points to take the 18-13 lead.
Following a few missed shots by each team, Smith scored Troy’s next seven points, with Charles finding Kobe Julien for the backdoor layup. Julien came right back after Smith turned the ball over to hit from deep. Charles made a layup off the Akwuba dish, but hit five straight shots to regain the lead. Kentrell Garnett tied the game up and Akwuba finished off the half with a dunk and the Cajuns led 30-28.
At the end of the first half, both Wesley and Desmond Williams were called for technical fouls after they got into it after the whistle. Both teams struggled coming out of the break to put the ball through the basket. Troy ended that almost two minutes into the second half with an Odigie jumper. Louisiana scored the next nine with Julien making one out of two from the charity stripe and then made a three of the assist from Wesley, who hit a three of his own after he dropped his defender and Julien coming right back with another backup layup.
Troy went on a quick 7-2 run to cut the deficit down, but Gueye knocked down the baseline jumper to put Louisiana’s lead back up to six. With 8:34 left in the second half, the Trojans tied the game at 45 with Odigie’s and-one layup. Each squad matched each other shot for shot the next few possessions as Julien and Deen made layups, then Garnett and Deen hit three pointers.
Williams gave the Cajuns a slight point lead with 2:46 left in the game with a contested three pointer and forced a timeout by the Trojans. Julien extended their lead to five after he put back his own miss off the glass. Garnett would put the game away with a corner three as the Cajuns won 69-59.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Kobe Julien
Julien had a team high 17 points, making seven out of 12 of his shot from the floor and recorded rebounds, including one to put back his own miss to extend the Louisiana lead with less than two minutes left.
BIG NUMBER: 17
The Trojans turned the ball over 17 times compared to the Cajuns 11 as Louisiana won 69-59 Saturday evening.
NEXT UP: vs Georgis St., January 27th; Tip off at 7:00