Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns entered Friday's contest against Texas State, the first game of Sun Belt Conference play, a bit shorthanded.

In addition to the injured players who haven't played yet this season, the Cajuns were without starting forward Dou Gueye due to COVID-19 protocols.

In the end, the Cajuns overcame a slow start to defeat the Bobcats 83-77 in overtime of a physical contest.

"It was an exciting basketball game," said head coach Bob Marlin. "We were outplayed in the first half, did some soul searching at halftime, came out in the second half and played well."

Sophomore guard Devin Butts scored a career-high 22 points, including a career-high 6 three-pointers, letting the game come to him.

"The gameplan wasn't necessarily (for me to shoot as much as I did)," explained Butts. "I was just taking what the defense gave me."

Sophomore guard Mylik Wilson finished with a double-double, scoring 21 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. In addition, he swiped 4 steals, and had a career-high 3 blocks.

"With Dou (Gueye) out, we knew we were going to have to step up and get rebounds," explained Wilson. "I took it upon myself to step up to that challenge."

Gueye averages 10.1 rebounds per game. Without him, Louisiana was still able to outrebound the Bobcats 37-32.

"We challenged (Wilson) to get 10 boards," said Marlin. "He went out and got 11."

Cedric Russell added 14 points for the Cajuns, while big man Theo Akwuba scored 10 and grabbed 8 rebounds.

The victory is the 7th straight for Louisiana, who improved to 7-1 with the win, and 1-0 in conference play.

Louisiana will have a quick turnaround, as the Ragin' Cajuns will host the Bobcats again on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 in the Cajundome.

Sun Belt Conference teams will host one opponent for two games each Friday and Saturday this season in an effort to reduce the exposure of Covid-19.

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