PENSACOLA, Fla. – Sophomore forward Jordan Brown scored a career-high 31 points to lead Louisiana Men’s Basketball past No. 1 Texas State 79-72 Saturday afternoon at the Pensacola Bay Center.
With the win, Louisiana advances to the semifinals and will face the winner of No. 4 Troy and No. 12 Little Rock at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Brown rounded out his stat line with eight rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
Greg Williams, Jr. poured in 15 points with a 3-6 performance from beyond the arc. The junior also added seven rebounds and dished five assists.
Junior forward Theo Akwuba totaled eight points on 4-5 shots from the floor and tallied 11 boards. On the defensive side, the junior matched his season-high with five blocks.
Freshman guard Michael Thomas contributed a career-high eight points, five assists and five rebounds off the bench.
The teams came out balanced to begin the contest, Texas State relied on 3-point shooting while Brown established his presence around the basket. With just under 12 minutes remaining in the half, the Roseville, Calif. native stepped beyond the line and buried a triple of his own to knot the score at 11-11.
A 7-3 run put the Bobcats up 20-14, but the Ragin’ Cajuns closed out the half with a 17-3 run that spanned nearly seven minutes. The charge gave Louisiana a 31-25 lead at the break.
Williams, Jr. led the push with nine points which all coming from beyond the arc, while Brown supplemented his shooting with four points around the basket and a free throw.
A 6-0 run by the Ragin’ Cajuns in the first two minutes following the break pushed the score to 37-25.
Despite the best effort of the Texas State defense, Brown continued to dominate around the basket as a jump shot by the sophomore gave Louisiana a 48-32 advantage with 14:04 remaining. The 16-point lead was the largest of the game for the Vermillion and White.
The Bobcats brought the lead down to 10 with 10 minutes remaining, but a 3-pointer by Durey Cadwell and a bucket by Thomas kept the momentum in Louisiana’s favor.
Brown sunk both attempts at the line to increase the lead to 15 at the seven-minute mark.
A late 9-2 Texas State run set the score at 63-55 with three minutes left, but the Ragin’ Cajuns were able to close the contest out at the free-throw line making 16 of 19 attempts in the final moments.
Sunday will mark Louisiana’s 16th all-time Sun Belt semifinal appearance.
More information on the Sun Belt Tournament, including an updated bracket and ticket information, can be found at the league’s tournament central page [sunbeltsports.org].
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