Cajuns Make ‘Dome History with Win Over Arkansas State
The Cajundome has been the home of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns since the 1985-86 season...and for the first time, the Cajuns are 11-0 in that building.
The Cajuns won their ninth straight game overall Thursday night by beating Arkansas State 83-73 before 4,420 fans.
The win put Louisiana (14-8, 10-3 Sun Belt) within one game of LIttle Rock, which lost to UL Monroe.
Shawn Long led the Cajuns with 17 points and 13 rebounds for his 69th career double double. Kasey Shepherd added 16 points and Johnathan Stove chipped in 15.
Arkansas State (10-12, 7-6) was led by Frederic Dure, who scored a season high 21 points. Anthony Livingston chipped in 15, while Nouhoum Bacoum added 14 and Devin Carter eleven.
"I thought they (Arkansas State) played a better game tonight than they did up there (in Jonesboro on Jan. 9th)," Cajuns' head coach Bob Marlin said. "They did a great job on Shawn in the second half and doubled and tripled him down low. But we made the extra pass and hit some big shots."
The Cajuns never led in the first half and, after trailing 42-39 at the half, trailed by as many as nine points early in the second half before rallying and never trailed after a pair of Stove free throws with 10:21 remaining.
Trailing 59-55 with 12:43 to play, Stove hit six straight points to give the Cajuns a 61-59 lead. Boucom scored on a jumper to tie the score.
But Shepherd hit a pair of free throws and Elijah McGuire hit his first career triple from the right corner to stake the Cajuns to a 66-61 lead. After Livingston scored for Arkansas State, Jay Hedgeman knocked down a three pointer from the corner and Devonta Walker followed with an inside bucket and the Cajuns led 71-63 with 6:12 to play.
The Red Wolves weren't done, however as Dure hit a triple and a pair of three throws and Livingston followed with a three to cap an 8-0 run and tie the game at 71 with 3:33 to play.
But it was all Cajuns after that.
Stove made a pair of free throws to give Louisiana the lead for good and, after Long blocked Sean Gardner's shot inside, Hayward Register connected on a contested three to give Louisiana a five point lead. After an Arkansas State miss, Hedgeman found Register in the corner and the junior didn't disappoint, nailing another from the bonusphere to give the Cajuns a 79-71 lead
After Dure hit a pair of free throws with 1:28 left, Bryce Washington and Long both scored inside for the final margin. It was Long's only points of the second half.
The Cajuns continued the 'Dome frustration for retiring Arkansas State head coach John Brady, who is now 0-8 in his career (Samford, Arkansas State) on the Cajuns' home court.
The Cajuns will host Little Rock with first place on the line, Saturday at 4:15 at the Cajundome as they try to run their home record to 12-0.