ESTERO, Fla. (PRESS RELEASE) – Marcus Stroman scored 19 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns erased a seven-point deficit in the second half to claim a 68-61 victory over in-state opponent Tulane on Wednesday during the final day of the Gulf Coast Showcase at Hertz Arena
JaKeenan Gant and Justin Miller each recorded double-doubles as Louisiana (3-3) erased a 34-31 halftime deficit and outscored Tulane (2-3), 37-27, in the second half to claim third-place in the eight-team field.
The meeting between the in-state rivals was the fifth between the schools since the 1957-58 season and marked Louisiana’s first win over the Green Wave since a 41-28 victory on Dec. 17, 1935 – a span of 12 games.
Stroman, whose previous career-high (16 points) was at Clemson last season, finished 8-for-17 from the floor and 8-for-12 from the free throw line to lead Louisiana. The senior point guard scored 10 straight points for the Ragin’ Cajuns after Tulane took a 45-42 lead on Buay Koka’s bucket with 13:16 remaining in the game.
After sandwiching a pair of baskets around a Jordan Cornish bucket, Stroman gave Louisiana a 48-47 lead with a pair of free throws with 10:24 remaining and gave the Ragin’ Cajuns the lead for good on their next possession after Cornish’s layup at the 10:06 mark gave the Green Wave a 49-48 advantage.
Stroman, the Sun Belt Conference leader in both assists and steals, followed his go-ahead bucket with a steal and layup that gave Louisiana a 54-49 lead with 9:02 left.
Tulane closed the gap to 56-52 on a bucket by Caleb Daniels with 7:53 remaining, but the Ragin’ Cajuns answered nearly two minutes later before Jeremy Hayes’ only bucket of the game – a 3-pointer from the top of the key – gave Louisiana its largest lead of the night, 59-52, with 5:43 left.
The Green Wave got as close as 63-61 on pair of free throws by Bul Ajang with 1:03 remaining, but Stroman iced the game with four free throws in the final 46 seconds.
Gant scored 17 points and grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds for Louisiana while Miller scored 11 points with a career-high tying 14 rebounds. Cornish led Tulane with 20 points with Daniels adding 10.
Louisiana will return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 28, when it travels to the Crescent City to face New Orleans in a 7 p.m., contest at Lakefront Arena.
The game will be the first of the “Louisiana Passport,” which will recognize fans who attend all eight of Louisiana’s scheduled games against in-state opponents during the 2018-19 season.
Passports will be distributed for Cajuns fans traveling to the New Orleans game. Each game, fans will get their passport stamped at a location to be determined. In-state games for the Ragin’ Cajuns include home games against Southern (Dec. 1), Loyola (Dec. 5), Louisiana Tech (Dec. 15) and ULM (Feb. 16), with road games slated against New Orleans (Nov. 28), McNeese State (Dec. 18), Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 29) and ULM (Jan. 19).
At Louisiana’s game against ULM on Feb. 16, those who have a completed passport with eight stamps will be recognized on the court at some point during the game.
For more information on tickets, contact the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2357. For information concerning parking, contact the RCAF at (337) 851-2903.