LAFAYETTE – Caleb Asberry and Isiah Small combined for 23 of Texas State’s 47 points in the second half and the Bobcats used pinpoint shooting in the final 20 minutes to pull away and claim a 71-59 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in a Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball game on Saturday at the Cajundome.
Small finished with a game-high 18 points on 8 of 9 shooting as Texas State (7-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) made 17 of its first 20 attempts in the second half enroute to finishing 18-for-24 (75 percent) in the second half and 27-for-45 (60 percent) for the game.
Louisiana (7-2, 1-1 Sun Belt), which had its seven-game win streak snapped and had won its last nine games at home dating back to last season, took an early 9-3 lead and built its biggest advantage, 17-10, on a 3-pointer by Mylik Wilson with 8:31 remaining in the first half before the Bobcats would come back to tie the game at 24-all at the half.
After Louisiana’s Brayan Au sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 15:28 remaining giving the Ragin’ Cajuns a 37-34 lead, Texas State would answer with six straight point to take the lead for good with Quentin Scott sandwiching a pair of buckets behind Marlin Davis’ go-ahead basket with 13:56 remaining.
Mason Harrell scored five points, including a three-point play, in a 10-0 run for Texas State that pushed the Bobcats lead to 54-41 at the 9:09 mark.
The Ragin’ Cajuns looked to get back into the game with five straight points beginning with a 3-pointer by Kentrell Garnett and a layup by Cedric Russell, but Asberry and Davis would respond with 3-pointers as Texas State pushed the lead back to double-digits.
Asberry scored all 12 points in the second half for Texas State with Harrell and Scott each adding 10.
Wilson led Louisiana with 14 points with Russell adding 11. Theo Akwuba added nine points and nine rebounds for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Garnett scoring a season-high seven points off the bench.
After shooting 7-for-24 (29 percent) in the opening half, Louisiana went 11-for-28 (39 percent) in the second half and finished 18-for-52 (35 percent) for the game. The Ragin’ Cajuns were perfect from the free throw line going 17-for-17 but finished 6-for-21 (29 percent) from behind the 3-point line.
Louisiana will return to action on Friday when it plays host to defending league champion Little Rock in a two-game series at the Cajundome. The series opener will start on Friday at 6 p.m., with the finale set for Saturday at 4 p.m. Both games will be available on ESPN+ and broadcast in the Lafayette area on KPEL 96.5 FM.
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