The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns didn’t have Jordan Brown and it didn’t matter.
Less than hour before tip against visiting Troy, the Sun Belt Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year was ruled out due to an illness. Despite not having the team’s leading scorer and second-leading rebounder on the floor, Louisiana cruised to a 72-57 victory over the Trojans.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Louisiana began the game on a 11-3 run as Terence Lewis II scored six of the points for the Ragin’ Cajuns. A fast-break layup by Darius McNeil cut the lead down to six but Louisiana responded with an 11-0 run, highlighted by a pair of three-pointers by Kobe Julien.
Louisiana maintained its double-digit lead as Troy didn’t reach double digit in scoring until Christyon Eugene’s driving layup with 10:48 left in the first half.
The Ragin’ Cajuns kept their foot on the gas and the Trojans struggled to get anything going offensively. Troy had more turnovers (10) than field goals (6) in the first half.
At the break held a 41-17 lead as Greg Williams scored six of his game-high 21 points in the first half.
Louisiana came out in the second half cold as the Ragin’ Cajuns didn’t score their first field goal until Lewis made a jumper in the lane with 15:50 left.
Troy failed to take advantage as the Trojans continued to struggle as well as Louisiana maintained its double-digit lead through the first 10 minutes-plus of the second half.
With 9:32 left in the game, Louisiana held a 57-36 lead.
Troy was able to cut the lead down to 14 with 3:45 to go but that was the closest the Trojans would get the lead down to single digits.
BIG NUMBER: 47
Troy entered Thursday night’s game with the Sun Belt’s second-best three-point defense but Louisiana had no issues from beyond the arc. The Ragin’ Cajuns made 47 percent of their three-point attempts as the team shot 7-of-15 from the outside.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: TERENCE LEWIS II & KOBE JULIEN
Lewis helped set the tone early with a few three-pointers as he would go on to post a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Julien also gave the team an offensive spark as he came off the bench and scored a season-high 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting and 2-for-2 from three-point range.
UP NEXT: Louisiana (17-4, 7-2 SBC) returns to action on Saturday when they welcome Georgia Southern to the Cajundome. Tip is set for 7 p.m.