Marquis Eaton scored a career-high 32 points and Arkansas State rallied from a 12-point, first-half deficit and defeated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Men’s Basketball team, 95-87, in a Sun Belt Conference game on Friday at First National Bank Arena.
Caleb Fields scored 20 points with Malcolm Farrington coming off the bench to add 13 as Arkansas State (7-9, 4-5 Sun Belt) went 20-for-28 (71.4 percent) from the floor in the second half and finished 33-for-58 (56.9 percent) overall. The Red Wolves used a strong second half from beyond the 3-point line, going 7-for-11 in the second half to finish 11-for-20 for the game.
Dou Gueye led Louisiana (13-5, 7-4 Sun Belt) with a career-high 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead four players in double figures. Cedric Russell added 19 points, including four 3-pointers, with Theo Akwuba adding 11 points and Isaiah Richards 10.
Louisiana made seven of its first 11 shots to open the game and built a 26-14 lead on Mylik Wilson’s reverse layup with 9:21 remaining in the first half. The Ragin’ Cajuns led 33-22 on Devin Butts’ 3-pointer with 6:03 left in the half before Arkansas State chipped away at the lead.
The Red Wolves went on a 14-3 run as a pair of free throws by Norchad Omier tied the game at 36-36 with 32 seconds remaining before a layup by Gueye gave Louisiana a 38-36 lead at the break.
Farrington gave Arkansas State the lead for good at 53-50 when he sank a 3-pointer with 13:57 remaining and the Red Wolves used a 10-3 run to build a 68-59 advantage after a free throw by Richards cut Louisiana’s deficit to 58-56 with 12:11 left.
Louisiana trailed 87-76 after Eaton hit a pair of free throws with 1:53 left and scored seven straight points to cut the lead to 87-83 at the 1:12 mark. Butts opened the late rally with a 3-pointer before Russell connected on a free throw and Ty Harper converted a three-point play.
But Omier answered with a bucket for the Red Wolves, who added free throws and a bucket by Eaton plus a dunk by Keyon Wesley in preserving the win.
Louisiana finished 32-for-61 (52.5 percent) from the floor and was 9-for-22 (40.9 percent) from behind the 3-point line. The Ragin’ Cajuns held a 35-24 advantage on the glass, but finished 14-for-22 from the free throw line with Arkansas State going 18-for-22.
Louisiana will wrap up its weekend against the Red Wolves on Saturday in a 4 p.m. contest. The game will be available on ESPN+ and will be broadcast in the Lafayette area on KPEL 96.5 FM.
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