Cajuns Clamp Down On Bobcats

LAFAYETTE, La. – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns put forth their best defensive performance of the season on Thursday night and roared past Texas State for a 64-42 win at the Cajundome.

The Cajuns (15-12, 9-7 SBC) put three players in double figures and closed the first half on a 21-6 run, getting a three from Jay Wright just before the halftime buzzer to go into the break up 10. From there Louisiana held the Bobcats (10-16, 5-11 SBC) to just 42 points, opponent all season, and just 32.1 percent shooting which was the lowest in SBC play.

Louisiana's defense also held Texas State without a three-point make on six tries, marking the first time since February 6, 2010 when UALR went to 0-for-13 from the arc, that it held an opponent without a triple.

Shawn Long hit 8-of-12 shots from the field and had a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds for the Cajuns, but was part of a balanced offensive attack. UL sank 45.3 percent of its shots, including eight threes from four different players, and had three players in double figures.

Wright, who dished out 10 assists the last time the teams met in San Marcos, doled out six more dimes to go with 13 points in 32 minutes. Meanwhile, Kasey Shepherd led a 30-point outpouring from the bench with 14 points, along with six rebounds, three assists and a steal.

For Texas State, Cameron Naylor led the Bobcats with 14 points while Wes Johnson finished with 10 points.

The Bobcats started off hot with an 8-2 run to open the game, a run that ended when Hayward Register knocked down an early three to spark the Cajun offense. Texas State maintained an advantage until the 8:50 mark of the half when Devonta Walker got a layup to knot things up at 16-16, and from there the Cajuns caught fire, with Walker finishing a two-handed slam at the 7:33 mark to cap an 11-2 run that had UL in front 20-16.

UL scored seven of the game's next nine points and hit the locker room up 30-20 after Wright's first three of the game, just beating the halftime gun.

Wright and Long opened up the second half with quick buckets, and within five minutes the Cajuns found themselves with a 20-point advantage after Shepherd got loose for nine points in a 14-point stretch.

UL kept up the defensive pressure throughout the half, only allowing a short 6-2 Bobcat spurt that cut the lead to 51-36 with 10:31 to play. But Xavian Rimmer ended that spurt with his second three of the half starting an 8-2 run.

Before it was all said and done, the Cajun lead ballooned as high as 24 points late in the second half.

The Ragin' Cajuns now head to the Lone Star State on Saturday for a rematch with UT Arlington at the College Park Center. Louisiana enters Saturday just a half game behind UTA for the No. 4 spot in the SBC standings, a seed which would secure a first-round bye in the upcoming SBC Tournament.


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