Louisiana Basketball Drops to 3-2 With 93-79 Loss to Marshall
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns basketball team lost 93-79 on the road to the Marshall Thundering Herd after struggling in the second half.
The Cajuns are now 3-2 this season.
Head coach Bob Marlin said that Louisiana's turnover issues against the Herd were a main reason for the team's second straight loss.
"It's a pass and catch game," Marlin said. "28 turnovers has got to be a career-high for our team since I've been here. Defensively we were poor and we turned it over too much."
Louisiana and Marshall were evenly matched to start the first half, and a three-pointer by freshman guard Kentrell Garnett tied the game at 9-9.
However, a pair of three-point plays helped the Herd take a 15-9 lead seven minutes into the game.
Marshall took an eight-point lead at 24-16 with nine minutes remaining in the first half, but the Cajuns, helped by a three-pointer by guard Jalen Dalcourt went on a five-point spurt to get within one possession.
Both teams went on a scoring flurry when Garnett and guard Greg Williams Jr. each hit three-pointers, and with four minutes left before the break, the Cajuns took their first lead of the game, going up 32-31.
Williams' third three of the first half gave the Cajuns a 43-41 lead, and, after Marshall split free throws, Williams hit two free throws of his own. Forward Kobe Julien was fouled on a buzzer-beating three and he made two of his three free throws. The Cajuns took a 47-42 lead into the half.
Louisiana shot very well from the floor in the first half, hitting 14 of their first 28 shots. They were 7-10 from three-point range and 12-13 from the free throw line. Williams had 13 first-half points and Garnett added 11. The only negative was that the team didn't take care of the ball and had 11 turnovers at the break.
The second half was rough for Louisiana. The turnovers, shooting percentages, and defense were all worse for the Cajuns after halftime. They had three turnovers in four possessions to start the second half.
At the first officials timeout with 16 minutes remaining, Louisiana's lead had diminished to 53-52. Marshall took a 55-53 lead, and then the teams started going back-and-forth, trading lead changes and ties. A Dalcourt three gave the Cajuns a 60-59 lead.
Helped by more Louisiana turnovers, Marshall answered that three-pointer by Dalcourt with an 11-1 run. Garnett finally answered with a three but the Cajuns were down 70-64.
The Herd opened up a 10-point lead at 76-66 with seven minutes remaining. They followed that up with seven straight points to make it 83-68.
From there, the game was never in question. Marshall closed out Louisiana and won 93-79.
The Cajuns were out-scored 51-32 in the second half. Louisiana only shot 11-33 after halftime, but their 17 second-half turnovers were the key to sparking Marshall's win.
The biggest differences in this game were turnovers, points off of turnovers, and points in the paint. Marshall won all three categories by a large margin. Louisiana had 28 total turnovers while the Herd had 10. Marshall had 32 points off of turnovers and the Cajuns had 10. In the paint, the Herd scored 50 points in the game and Louisiana finished with 22.
Marlin said that taking care of the ball is something that Louisiana clearly needs to work on after this loss.
"The guys that were on the floor the most turned it over the most," Marlin said. "It was a group effort. The forwards and the guards turned it over. We've got to do a better job of taking care of and valuing the ball."
Up next, Louisiana comes home to the Cajundome to play Jackson State on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 11:00 a.m.