Crimson Tide Defeats Ragin' Cajuns, 105-93

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Shawn Long posted a double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds to become the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns all-time leading rebounder, but Alabama sizzled from long range and held off a late rally for a 105-93 victory in a non-conference game on Friday at Coleman Coliseum.

Shannon Hale, Riley Norris and Justin Coleman scored 18 points each for Alabama (2-1), which shot 54 percent (32-for-59) from the floor and 15-for-25 (60.0 percent) from behind the 3-point line. Retin Obasohan added 17 points for the Crimson Tide with Arthur Edwards added 12 points and Dazon Ingram 10.

"Alabama made a bunch of shots and were really good tonight," Louisiana head coach Bob Marlin said. "I don't think that they'll shoot it like that all year, consistently, but they certainly did tonight. During the game, it felt like they had a huge amount of pride against us, got ahead of us in the first half. We had some bad turnovers and didn't defend very well."

Long, who recorded the 54th double-double of his career, tipped in a Steven Wronkoski miss with 5:47 remaining to record his 1,065th career rebound and pass former Ragin' Cajuns standout Roy Ebron (1,064 from 1971-73) as the school's all-time leader. Long, who went 9-for-16 from the floor for Louisiana (1-2), increased his career total to 1,068 rebounds while moving to within three points of passing Graylin Warner (1,762, 1981-84) for sixth-place in school history.

Alabama, which eclipsed the 100-point mark for the first time in nearly two years, made its first eight shots from behind the 3-point line before missing its final three attempts in the opening half to take a 55-39 lead at halftime. The Crimson Tide trailed 5-4 after Long hit the first of three 3-pointers on the night, but went ahead for good, when Hale sank a 3-pointer for a 7-5 lead at the 18:48 mark.

Louisiana trailed 11-10 with 15:53 remaining in the first half after Long tapped in a Hayward Register miss from behind the 3-point line before Alabama made its next five shots in part of a 15-2 run that pushed the lead to 26-12.

Jimmie Taylor opened the spurt for the Crimson Tide with a bucket at the 15:45 mark before baskets by Obasohan, Hale and Ingram gave Alabama a 19-10 lead. The Crimson Tide added a pair of free throws by Obasohan at the 13:17 mark for a 21-10 lead before Cooper scored five straight points for Alabama, including a 3-pointer from the right wing for a 26-12 lead with 11:50 to play in the first half.

The Ragin' Cajuns chipped away at the lead as they twice closed to the lead to seven - the last time when Kasey Shepherd sank a pair of free throws with 5:14 remaining in first half that cut the deficit to 36-29. Alabama then scored 12 of the next 14 points as 3-pointers by Hale and Coleman along with a layup by Coleman and two free throws by Norris gave the Crimson Tide a 48-31 lead.

A layup by Ingram with 1:25 left in the first half gave Alabama its biggest lead of the night, 53-34, and the Crimson Tide never let Louisiana get closer than nine points until the final minute after Shepherd sank two free throws and later added a layup.

"It seems like when we would make a push in the second half, they came right back," Marlin said. "It felt like there were about to break free when Jay Wright finally got warmed up, made a couple of shots, but then he fouled out. That obviously took the wind out of our sails on that particular drive. Later, we thought we would make a run with about four minutes to go, but we couldn't get the score under 10."

Shepherd scored a season-high 17 points for Louisiana, which finished 28-for-61 (45.9 percent) from the floor and 11-for-27 (40.7 percent) from behind the 3-point line. Jay Wright added 11 points for the Ragin' Cajuns with Jay Hedgeman coming off the bench to add 10 points and a season-high eight rebounds.

Louisiana will return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 25, when it plays host to in-state opponent Loyola at the Cajundome. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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