The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s team won 81-75 against the Arkansas State Red Wolves in Friday’s rescheduled game inside the Cajundome. The win represents the Cajuns’ fourth straight victory, and improves them to 5-3 in Sun Belt Conference play.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The game began with teams trading quick buckets immediately. However, an offensive drought would ensue with the score at 4-3 in favor of Louisiana. Each team would score just a couple more points before a 6-5 Cajuns’ lead took us to the under 16-minute media timeout.
The next stretch of play saw more offense. Kentrell Garnett made back-to-back threes to stretch Louisiana’s lead to seven at 14-7. The teams would go back and forth until reaching the next media timeout, with the Cajuns leading 20-13 once it arrived.
The next stretch of play saw Arkansas State close the deficit to 25-22, but that was when the Cajuns put together a quick 8-2 run. That made it 33-24, and gave the Cajuns a nine-point advantage. The Red Wolves added just two more before the final media timeout of the first half, with UL leading 33-26 at that point. Kobe Julien added four points in the final few minutes, and the Cajuns brought a 41-28 lead with them at the half, which was their largest lead of the half.
The beginning of the second half saw the Cajuns continue their defensive pressure. Five straight points to start and an 8-5 overall run forced the Red Wolves to take a timeout just over four minutes into the half. From there, the Cajuns started to be physical inside, which led to several fouls being called against the Red Wolves. Not too pleased with some of those calls, Arkansas State head coach Bryan Hodgson was issued a technical foul for arguing, which gave Julien two free throws as the Cajuns’ lead was extended to 53-38 and would sit at 59-43 at the under 12 media timeout.
A three from Joe Charles gave Louisiana its largest lead to that point at 62-44. That led to a bit of a scoring drought, as both teams battled over the next couple of minutes. With the score at 69-51, the Cajuns were starting to separate. However, the Red Wolved put together a very quick 11-0 run to get it back down to 7 at 69-62 with just inside of four minutes to play.
Louisiana worked for a good possession after the run and ended it with a two from Garnett to make it 71-62. Free throws ensued, but the Red Wolves three-point shooting got them back into it. Taryn Todd made a four-point play to cut the lead to 74-69. Down the stretch, Louisiana was able to knock down the majority of their free throws while the Red Wolves struggled mightily from the line. They held on for the 81-75 victory.
BIG NUMBER: 17
The Red Wolves missed 17 free throws in the contest, shooting barely over 50%. That was costly in this game that did get very close in the end.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Hosana Kitenge
Kitenge filled up the stat sheet in this one. He scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and also blocked two shots while adding two assists. His energy was a big factor in the win, and he also shot an efficient 5-7 from the field.
UP NEXT: Louisiana will face Texas State on Sunday at noon inside the Cajundome. This game was moved from Saturday to Sunday due to the previous postponement.