Stove, Washington Lead Ragin' Cajuns to Win

LAFAYETTE – Sophomores Johnathan Stove and Bryce Washington each scored a season-high 16 points and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns used an 11-1 run over the final 4:04 to defeat New Orleans, 79-69, on Monday at the Cajundome.

Shawn Long came off the bench for the first time in the 2015-16 season, scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds as Louisiana (4-6) snapped a three-game losing streak and won its 14th straight game over UNO (3-7) at the Cajundome dating back to 1997-98 season.

The first meeting between the former Sun Belt Conference rivals since 2010 saw a game that featured 10 ties and 20 lead changes. Neither team led by more than double digits until Washington closed out the scoring when he sank the second of two free throws with 42 seconds remaining.

The Privateers took advantage of cold Ragin' Cajuns shooting in the first half as they took a 21-15 lead on Nate Frye's 3-pointer with 9:20 remaining. New Orleans held a 29-24 lead on a bucket by Travis Avery with 3:48 remaining in the half, but the Ragin' Cajuns would score the next eight points to take the lead into the break.

Washington, who finished 5-for-11 from the floor and recorded his first career double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds, converted a layup with 3:18 remaining in the half before two free throws by Jay Hedgeman trimmed the UNO lead to 29-28 at the 2:45 mark.

The Ragin' Cajuns would reclaim the lead at 30-29 as Washington scored on a short bucket with 2:09 remaining in the half and Hedgeman added two more free throws at the 1:48 mark for a 32-29 advantage – Louisiana's largest lead of the first half.

Both teams traded leads through the majority of the second half with UNO taking a 53-50 advantage on a pair of free throws by Erik Thomas with 13:15 to play. The Ragin' Cajuns would respond with layups by Washington and Long for a 54-53 lead with 12:01 remaining before UNO would again push its lead to three as Tevin Broyles sank a pair of free throws for a 67-64 lead with 5:44 remaining.

A free throw by Washington with 5:19 remaining and a 3-pointer by Hayward Register, who had missed his first eight shots of the night, gave Louisiana a 68-67 lead with 4:53 left. UNO would knot the game one more time as Frye made one of two free throws, but the Ragin' Cajuns would take the lead for good on their next possession.

Long, who finished 5-for-7 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line, gave the Ragin' Cajuns a 70-68 lead with 4:04 remaining and Register would drain his second 3-pointer of the night at the 3:24 mark.

Kevin Hill made one of two free throws that cut the Louisiana lead to 73-69 with 3:10 remaining, but Long would convert a three-point play with 2:56 left, and Register and Washington would combine to make three free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Louisiana, which finished 26-for-65 (40.0 percent) from the floor, shot 15-for-29 (51.7 percent) in the second half while holding UNO to 23-for-60 (38.3 percent) from the floor and without a bucket after Christavious Gill's jumper with 6:47 remaining in the game. The Ragin' Cajuns held a 50-39 advantage on the glass, including a season-high 23 offensive boards that led to 22 second-chance points.

Kasey Shepherd added nine points for the Ragin' Cajuns while Hedgeman added eight and Register seven. Stove added a career-best six rebounds for Louisiana with Jay Wright and Devonta Walker each grabbing five boards.

Gill led New Orleans, scoring 15 of his game-high 17 points in the second half. Frye added 16 points and a game-high seven assists for the Privateers while Thomas had 15 with a team-high six rebounds.

Louisiana will take off for the Christmas holiday before resuming play on Wednesday, Dec. 30 in an exhibition game against Spring Hill College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and admission is free.

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