Cajuns Take Care of Louisiana Tech 94-86
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns spotted Louisiana Tech a nine point first half lead but came roaring back in the second half to lead by as many as fifteen points before settling in to a 94-86 win over the Bulldogs before 3,786 at the CAJUNDOME.
Louisiana (4-4) was led by junior Shawn Long who had his best game of the season, scoring 24 points while adding 15 rebounds in just 24 minutes of playing time. Kasey Shepherd, who scored a career high 22 against the Bulldogs in Ruston last season, added 16. Brian Williams bounced back from three first half fouls by scoring 15 points, all in the second half, while Jay Wright had a career high 13 and had just one turnover against the pressing Tech defense in 31 minutes of work.
Alex Hamilton scored 27 points to lead Louisiana Tech (7-2), which had a six game winning streak snapped. Erik McCree had a career-high 25, while Raheem Appleby chipped in eleven points and Kenneth "Speedy" Smith added ten.
Louisiana took an early 9-6 lead, but then turned it over on five straight possessions and Tech used that to their advantage, going on a 12-0 run to race out to an 18-9 lead with 12:51 to play in the first half. A pair of baskets by freshman Bryce Washington a three point basket by Wright and a Devonte Walker layup sparked a 9-2 run to get the Cajuns within two points two minutes later. The teams then jockeyed for position with the Cajuns finally taking the lead, 39-38 on two Long free throws with :39 left. But Hamilton hit a three pointer as time ran out and Tech took a 41-39 lead into the locker room.
But Tech would lead only once in the second half, one minute into the stanza. The Cajuns then went on a 14-2 run fueled by eight points from Long to take a 55-45 lead with 14:08 remaining. The Cajuns would build the lead to 14 on a Williams three pointer, 60-46. But Tech answered with an 11-3 burst to cut the lead to four, 63-59 with 9:12 remaining.
The Cajuns put on another burst and built the lead back to double digits with 6;35 left and kept the double figure lead until the final minute of the game.
The Cajuns out-rebounded the Bulldogs 42-29, garnering 12 offensive rebounds, which gave the Cajuns a 21-5 edge in second chance points. And, the Cajuns had 18 assists on 35 made baskets on the night.
Louisiana Tech had won 63 of their previous 79 games coming into the game tonight, but allowed 52.2% shooting to the Cajuns, including 50% (7-14) from three point range. The seven made baskets from beyond the arc was a season high for Louisiana.
The Cajuns continue the three game home stand this Saturday when they take on Centenary at 2:05pm. The Cajun women (5-0) meet Southern (NO) in the second game of the doubleheader.