LAWRENCE, Kan. – Udoka Azubuike scored six of his 17 points on three straight possesions late in the second half and Lagerald Vick scored a career-high 33 points as No. 2-ranked Kansas erased a 12-point deficit and withstood a second-half rally to earn an 89-76 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Friday before a sellout crowd of 16,300 at Allen Fieldhouse.
Dedric Lawson scored 19 points as Kansas (3-0) outscored Louisiana (1-2), 17-9, over the final 4:22 and helped the Jayhawks to their 41ststraight win during the month of November inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Louisiana trailed 11-3 early in the contest before a 3-pointer by Cedric Russell opened a 12-4 run. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored seven straight points to tie the game at 15-all as JaKeenan Gant buried a jumper and Justin Miller scored five of his career-high 22 points, with his 3-pointer at the 13:37 mark of the first half, tying the contest.
Miller, who finished 7-for-16 from the floor, gave Louisiana its first lead of the game – 19-18 – on a bucket with 12:09 left in the first half before the Ragin’ Cajuns used a 13-2 run to take a 32-20 lead that was capped on a pair of free throws by Marcus Stroman with 9:18 left.
Kansas, which rallied to take a 44-41 lead at halftime, extended its lead to 61-51 on Lawson’s three-point play with 13:09 remaining, but Louisiana would close the gap as a layup by Jeremy Hayes got the Ragin’ Cajuns to within 65-64.
Malik Marquetti, who scored all 14 of his points in the second half, closed the Kansas lead to 72-67 on a 3-pointer with 4:53 remaining, but Lawson connected on three of four free throws and Azubuike scored on three straight dunks to give the Jayhawks an 81-69 lead with 2:56 left.
Gant scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds for Louisiana, which finished 27-for-63 from the floor and 12-for-36 from behind the 3-point line. Russell added 10 points and career-best five assists for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Stroman dishing out a game-high nine assists and recording a season-high four steals.
Vick, who scored a career-high 32 points behind an 8-for-8 performance from behind the 3-point line in an 84-68 win over Vermont on Monday, finished 11-for-18 overall from the floor against the Ragin’ Cajuns and 7-for-12 from behind the arc. Azubuike, who picked up two fouls in the first five minutes of the game, finished 8-for-10 from the floor for Kansas, which went 17-for-29 (58.6 percent) from the floor in the second half and 32-for-65 (49.2 percent) for the game.
Louisiana will return to action on Monday (Nov. 19) when it opens play against Colorado State in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m., CT.
Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsMBB), Facebook (RaginCajunsMBB) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsMBB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Men’s Basketball.