Wright’s Buzzer Beater Advances Ragin’ Cajun Basketball In CIT
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun men's basketball team captured another postseason win on Saturday afternoon, defeating the Sam Houston St. Bearkats, 71-70, in thrilling fashion, in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in Huntsville, Texas.
Who says March Madness is just for the NCAA Tournament? Sophomore guard Jay Wright nailed a clutch three-pointer with :01 left to lift Louisiana to the one-point win.
Louisiana now moves on to the third round, with an opponent, site, and date all to be determined.
Louisiana used their size and athleticism to their advantage early on, outscoring Sam Houston St. in the paint in the first half, 18-6, while scoring 12 points off of 8 forced turnovers.
The Cajuns led the Bearkats for 13:24 of the first half, and took a 38-29 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Louisiana outshot Sam Houston St. from the floor over the first 20 minutes, 55%-36%, while holding down an 18-16 rebounding edge.
Shawn Long and Devonta Walker led the way for the Cajuns in the first half, scoring 11 points apiece, while Dakarai Henderson had 8 at the break for the Bearkats.
Sam Houston St. made a run to begin the second half, going on a 16-2 run over the fist 5:31, to take a 45-40 lead with 14:39 remaining.
The two teams the traded baskets, and the lead, over the next 3:30, with UL leading, 51-50, wit 11:03 to go.
The game continued to go back-and-forth over the next 7:05, and with 3:46 to go it was Sam Houston St. that was clinging to a 2-point lead, 66-64. About twenty seconds later, the Bearkats went up by two-possession to put the pressure on.
Some clutch free throws down the stretch from Devonta Walker, who was a perfect 6-6 from the line and finished with 13 points, and Kasey Shepherd tied the ball game at 68 with 37 seconds left. Aurimas Majauskas got a basket in the paint to fall with 7.9 remaining to give Sam Houston St. the 70-68 lead, which cued up Jay Wright for the dramatic ending.
Wright's three-ball from the corner went through with 0.9 seconds left on the clock, and the Bearkats were unable to come up with a miracle.
Wright led all scorers with 19 clutch points (7-10 FG, 1-1 3pt, 4-5 FT), and Shawn Long (14 pts, 7 rebs), Devonta Walker (13 pts, 6-6 FT) and Bryce Washington (8 pts, 9 rebs) provided the beef in the paint. Kasey Shepherd was the only other Cajun to score in double figures, collecting 11 points.
Head Ragin' Cajun Basketball Coach Bob Marlin knew Wright was set up for a chance to make an impact on the game, and he wanted to let him know his coach noticed the effort being displayed.
Marlin told Wright during the game, "You're the hardest playing guy on this court."
The game rewarded Wright for his efforts with the game-winner. With the win, Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns improve to 22-13 on the season and earn their spot in the quarterfinals of the CIT. The loss ends the Bearkats' impressive season with a 26-9 record.