Nov 21, 2012 11:58 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - Shawn Long scored a season-high 22 points to go along with 12 rebounds as the Ragin' Cajuns surged in the second half to fight off a scrappy Southern-New Orleans squad 76-66 at the Cajundome Wednesday evening.
For Long, it was his second double-double in the past three outings (20 points, 13 rebounds at Texas Southern). Louisiana collected its first 2-0 start at home since the 2003-04 season.
Louisiana (2-2) broke free from a halftime deficit (trailed 26-24) by reversing a rebounding deficit in the second stanza, outboarding the Knights (2-1) 24-15. The Cajuns also limited their turnovers - six in second half compared to 10 in opening half - and shot 55.9 percent (19-of-34) on the way to outscoring the visitors 52-40 in the final 20 minutes.
Three other Ragin' Cajuns turned in double-digit efforts as Elridge Moore and Steven Wronkowski chipped in 12 points each and Elfrid Payton added 11 points to go along with seven assists.
The Knights used a strong effort from the bench, which produced 44 of the squad's 66 points in keeping pace with the Cajuns. Anthony Turner (16 points) and Joshua Major (15 points) led SUNO's efforts.
The meeting was the first between the two schools on the hardwood. Louisiana made it 2-for-2 against first-time opponents this season, adding Wednesday's win to a win over Oakland (90-79 on Nov. 11).
Louisiana takes to the road Thanksgiving morning for a weekend trip that features games at New Mexico State (Friday) and Michigan State (Sunday). The Cajuns' next home game is set for Thursday, Nov. 29 against Middle Tennessee, a contest that serves as the 2012-13 Sun Belt opener.
The score went back and forth the entire first half as the game saw nine lead changes and the score tied five times. Louisiana's advantage was 24-23, with 1:30 left in the half following a jumper by Moore, but Southern-New Orleans scored the final three points off an old fashioned three-point play to close the half and take a 26-24 lead into the break.
Southern-New Orleans knocked down a three-point basket to open the second half to increase its lead to five. A six-point spurt by Payton led to a tie game at 34-34, then the Cajuns later rolled off a 12-5 run to take control of the contest.
Louisana was able to clamp down on the Knights down the home stretch as Bryant Mbamalu scored back-to-back three point baskets to give the Cajuns a nine-point advantage (60-51). A possession later, Steven Wronkoski's layup gave Louisiana the first double-digit lead of the night, 62-51.
Following a layup by Long, the Cajuns reached their largest lead of 13 points, 66-53 with 3:33 remaining.
Mbamalu, the lone Cajun player to hit a three pointer, connected on three of four tries in the contest. UL was 29-of-62 from the field as a team, good for 46.8 percent in the contest. Southern-New Orleans shot 36.9% after hitting 24-of-65 shots.
BANK SHOTS: The Cajuns forced a season-high 23 turnovers (old high 20 vs. Oakland), making 10 steals...The Cajuns trailed at the half for the third time in four games this season, and second time at home...After scoring just four points in the first half, Shawn Long dominated in the second half, adding 18 points for his second career 20-point effort...Elfrid Payton recorded his fourth straight double-figure scoring game, finishing with 11 points and 7 assists...Elridge Mooe posted his second career double-figure scoring game (both at home), scoring 12 points...Moore, added a career-high 8 rebounds and three blocks.
NEWSPAPER BOX SCORE
Southern-New Orleans vs Louisiana
11/21/12 7:35 p.m. at Lafayette, La. (Cajundome)
SOUTHERN-NEW ORLEANS (2-1) Turner, Anthony 7-15 1-2 16; Major, Joshua 5-12 0-1 15; Walker, Merlin 2-10 2-2 7; Lewis, Jared 2-5 2-2 7; Dukes, Kevin 1-6 4-8 6; Willis, Broc 3-4 0-0 6; Moore, Russell 2-6 1-1 5; Moore, Clyde 2-4 0-2 4; Williams, Travous 0-3 0-0 0; Arango, Carlos 0-0 0-0 0; Hargrove, Jermaine 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-65 10-18 66
LOUISIANA (2-2) Long, Shawn 10-16 2-4 22; Wronkoski, Steven 4-9 4-5 12; Moore, Elridge 4-7 4-4 12; Payton, Elfrid 4-7 3-5 11; Mbamalu, Bryant 3-6 0-0 9; Shepherd, Kasey 2-5 0-0 4; Brown, Kevin 1-6 1-3 3; Thompson, Alan-Micha 1-3 0-0 2; Lazare, Braylon 0-2 1-2 1; Williams, Donovan 0-0 0-0 0; Barnett, Cornell 0-1 0-0 0; Moss, Matthew 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-62 15-23 76