The Louisiana Ragin Cajuns have struggled mightily on the road this season, going 2-7 when away from the friendly confines of the Cajundome. Thursday night was a step in the right direction with the Cajuns taking a 66-65 victory over UT Arlington after a buzzer-beater from Dou Gueye.
How It Happened:
The opening moments of the Cajuns contest against UT Arlington was an offensive struggle with both teams not able to make a bucket when David Azore drained a three-pointer. The Mavericks got out to as much as a seven-point lead with 14:46 left in the first half.
Louisiana did respond though with a 14-1 run that was highlighted by a three-ball from P.J. Hardy, giving them a 17-11 lead. The rest of the first half was all Ragin’ Cajuns from that point and held a seven-point lead at the break after a late layup courtesy of Tirus Smith.
The second half started off strong for UT Arlington with a 7-0 run to tie up the ballgame. The Mavs finally overtook the Cajuns with 10:09 left in regulation after a second-chance layup from Jabari Narcis. The lead was exchanged multiple times throughout the final moments of the contest, but it was Gueye that had the final word with a three-point shot at the top of the three-point line as time expired to give the Cajuns the win. This was the first buzzer-beater for the Cajuns since Jonathan Stove’s half-court heave at UL Monroe in 2017.
Big Number: 31
The Cajuns bench was an unsung hero of Thursday’s victory for the Cajuns with 31 of the 66 points coming from the non-starting five with PJ Hardy racking up 13 points.The bench depth has never been the strong suit of the Cajuns, but it was a big plus for the team in the first leg of the Texas Two-Step.
Player of the Game: Jalen Johnson
The reigning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week continued to put the team on his back, leading the way with 15 points and 13 boards on the evening. While Gueye is getting all of the praise, the product out of University Lab definitely deserves some love for his efforts.
Next Up: Saturday vs Texas State; Tipoff at 4:30 pm