PENSACOLA, Fla. – A strong first half and stout defense throughout the game propelled the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team to a 67-49 victory over Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinals on Saturday at the Pensacola Bay Center.
In the opening stanza, Louisiana shot 51.6-percent (16-31) from the floor and outrebounded the Eagles, 19-9, while forcing 10 turnovers. Jordan Brown and Terence Lewis II led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 10 points and six rebounds each while Jalen Dalcourt buried three 3-pointers.
After Georgia Southern cut the Louisiana lead to 9-6 with 13:17 left, the Ragin’ Cajuns went on an 11-4 run over the next two and half minutes to take a 10-point lead. Louisiana took its largest lead of the first half, 18, as Lewis stole a pass and made a driving layup to give UL a 37-19 advantage with 3:44 remaining.
Leading 39-24 at the break, Georgia Southern came out in the second half and cut the lead to nine, 41-32, before Louisiana went on a 7-0 run to bump the lead back up to 16.
The Ragin’ Cajuns continued to dominate and led by as many as 23 in the second half with 4:13 remaining.
Brown finished with a game-high 16 points and 13 rebounds while Lewis also registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go along with a team-high 3 assists. For Brown, it was his fourth straight double-double.
Georgia Southern’s 49 points were the lowest by an opponent all season as Louisiana held them to 1-of-15 from beyond the arc as the Eagles missed their first 14 3-point attempts.
Louisiana outscored Georgia Southern, 32-26, in the paint and the bench provided a spark for the Ragin’ Cajuns, scoring 27 points to Georgia Southern’s 19.
The Cajuns are back in action Sunday at 7:30 p.m. as they take on Texas State in the semifinals. The game can be seen on ESPN+.
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