The University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns will be playing one more game inside the Cajundome.
UL overcame a double-digit second half deficit to clinch a home Sun Belt Conference Tournament game with Tuesday night’s 108-101 victory over visiting Coastal Carolina.
With the win, UL (13-18, 8-12 SBC) clinched the No. 8 seed in the SBC Tournament which begins play on Saturday.
How It Happened:
Coastal Carolina jumped out to a quick lead on three pointers by Malik LeGania and Garrick Green. Those back-to-back buckets spurred a 12-3 run for the visiting Chanticleers.
Coastal Carolina maintained its double-digit lead for the majority of the first half. UL did manage to cut it down to six points after a P.J. Hardy layup with a little more than nine minutes remaining. A minute later it became a four-point game with Mylik Wilson draining a jumper. With 8:01 left in the first half, the Ragin’ Cajuns trailed 27-23.
Coastal Carolina though built its lead back up to 10 points after a jumper by Tyrell Gumbs-Frater with 3:11 left. The Chanticleers went into halftime with a 49-39 lead.
In the first half, Coastal Carolina shot 50 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from three-point range (8-of-13). UL meanwhile shot 41.2 percent and 42.1 percent from beyond the arc (8-of-19).
The Cajuns started the second half off slowly offensively but began chipping away at the Chanticleers’ lead.
After Cedric Russell hit a three-pointer with 13:50 left, UL only trailed Coastal Carolina 63-61. Moments later, a pair of Jalen Johnson free throws tied the game and then a Duo Gueye steal-turned-layup gave the Cajuns their first lead of the game.
After Trajan Wesley’s three-pointer, followed by a pair of free throws by Wesley, UL held a 74-68 lead with 9:58 left. The Cajuns kept that lead and when Gueye made a layup with 3:54 left extended the Cajuns’ lead to 94-82.
Coastal Carolina responded with a quick five points but a layup by Russell made it once again a 9-point lead with less than three minutes remaining.
UL never relinquished its lead as it wrapped up a home game in the SBC Tournament.
Big Number: 16
The Ragin’ Cajuns had spent most of the season struggling to shoot from beyond the arc but that was not the case on Tuesday. UL made a season-high 16 three-pointers on 35 attempts (45.7 percent) and that played a significant role in the come-from-behind victory.
Players of the Game: Cedric Russell & P.J. Hardy
The Cajuns guards came up huge in Tuesday night’s win. Russell scored a game-high 28 points including going 9-of-10 at the free throw line. Hardy meanwhile scored 24 points including going 5-of-10 from three-point range.
Next Up: UL will host Arkansas State in the first round of the SBC Tournament on Saturday. Tip is set for 11 a.m.