LAFAYETTE — Matt Freeman and Jaquori McLaughlin each scored 17 points to lead four players in double figures and UC Santa Barbara went 17-for-24 from the floor in the second half to hold off the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 85-77, in a non-conference basketball game on Sunday at the Cajundome.
Devearl Ramsey added 16 points, going 3-for-5 from behind the 3-point line, while Robinson Idehen scored 10 points with eight rebounds as UCSB (10-4) won for the ninth time in its past 10 games. Louisiana (5-8), which dropped its fifth straight game, was led by Cedric Russell’s 19 points with Trajan Wesley adding a career-high 15.
The teams traded the lead eight times in the opening half before a putback by Idehen at the 8:19 mark gave the Gauchos a 19-18 lead. UCSB, which scored 12 second chance points off 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, extended its lead to 29-23 on a three-point play by Ramsey with 2:45 remaining in the half before Louisiana chipped away at the lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns twice cut the deficit to one late in the half as Wesley hit a pair of free throws to cut the UCSB lead to 30-29 with 1:32 remaining before Dou Gueye eventually scored on a baseline jumper just before the first-half buzzer.
Louisiana trailed 41-36 after a McLaughlin bucket with 15:40 remaining in the game before answering with a 9-4 run. Gueye, who tied a season-high with 15 points, scored seven points during the run as his 3-pointer from the right wing knotted the game at 45-all with 13:09 remaining.
But a 3-pointer by Ramsey on the ensuing possession would start a 16-5 run as UCSB took a 61-50 lead on a pair of free throws by Freeman with 8:53 left.
UCSB finished 29-for-56 (51.8 percent) from the floor for the game and was 22-for-30 (73.3 percent) from the free throw line. The Gauchos held a 36-22 advantage on the glass, including a 13-3 advantage in offensive boards that resulted in 16 second-chance points.
Mylik Wilson added 15 points and three steals for Louisiana with Jalen Johnson scoring 12. The Ragin’ Cajuns went 17-for-33 (51.5 percent) from the floor in the second half and was 26-for-55 (47.3 percent) overall.
Louisiana will return to action on Thursday when it resumes Sun Belt Conference play. The Ragin’ Cajuns will tip off the 2020 portion of their schedule hosting South Alabama in a 7 p.m. contest at the Cajundome.