LAFAYETTE – Bryce Washington posted his 11th double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 19 points while grabbing 10 rebounds as he led four players in double figures and helped the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to a 73-63 win over Texas State in a Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball game on Thursday at the Cajundome.
Frank Bartley scored 18 points for SBC leader Louisiana (22-4, 12-1 SBC), which won its 15th straight game at home dating back to last season while improving to 12-0 at home this season and equaling its best home start since starting 12-0 in 1971-72.
Johnathan Stove came off the bench to score 15 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who improved to 11-1 overall against Texas State (14-13, 7-7 SBC) with JaKeenan Gant scored 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Marcus Stroman dished out 11 assists and pulled down seven rebounds as Louisiana put the game away with a 10-0 run midway through the first half and never trailed the rest of the way.
Texas State opened the game scoring the first five points behind a jumper from Nijal Pearson and a 3-pointer by Tyler Blount before the Ragin’ Cajuns would answer with nine straight points, capped by a Stroman layup with 14:20 remaining in the first half.
Blount, who finished with 12 points for the Bobcats, sank consecutive 3-pointers that gave Texas State an 11-9 lead, but Bartley gave Louisiana the lead for good with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession before Washington converted on a three-point play for a 15-11 lead with 11:38 remaining.
Stove converted on a three-point play with 6:55 to open a 9-0 run for the Ragin’ Cajuns before a baseline jumper by Gant upped Louisiana’s lead to 30-18 with 4:00 remaining in the half.
The Bobcats trailed 34-24 at halftime and 36-29 after a free throw by Immanuel King with 17:29 remaining, but Louisiana would use a 14-5 run to take its biggest lead of the game – 50-34 – on a pair of free throws by Bartley with 13:43 left.
Louisiana’s 12-0 record to start the season in the Cajundome marked its best opening stretch in the facility, surpassing an 11-0 start to open the 2015-16 season.
Pearson led Texas State with 15 points with King finishing with 14. The Bobcats finished 23-for-57 (40.4 percent) from the floor and 10-for-15 from the free throw line.
Louisiana finished 26-for-57 (45.6 percent) from the field and 18-for-19 (94.7 percent) from the free throw line. The Ragin’ Cajuns held Texas State to 8-for-27 aim (29.6 percent) in the first half while holding a 47-20 advantage in points in the paint.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will cap their two-game homestand on Saturday when they play host to UT Arlington in a 7 p.m. contest. The game will be available on ESPN3.