STATESBORO, Ga. – Elijah McCadden and Isaiah Crawley scored 13 points apiece and Georgia Southern held the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns without a field goal for over 10 minutes in the second half to rally to a 71-51 Sun Belt Conference victory on Saturday at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Simeon Carter added 11 points and nine rebounds as Georgia Southern (11-7, 5-2 Sun Belt) erased a 30-26 halftime deficit by outscoring Louisiana (7-11, 2-5 Sun Belt), 45-21, in the second half while holding the Ragin’ Cajuns to 6-for-25 (24 percent) from the floor in the second half.
Louisiana opened the game on a 9-4 run after a layup by Calvin Temple and stretched its lead to 16-9 on a bucket by Tirus Smith with 14:12 remaining in the first half. The Ragin’ Cajuns took their biggest lead of the day, 23-14, when Jalen Johnson buried a 3-pointer with 11:23 remaining and maintained their lead heading into the break on a bucket by Kristian Lafayette with 50 seconds left.
Johnson, who scored a game-high 15 points, opened the second half with a 3-pointer for Louisiana and the Ragin’ Cajuns held a 38-32 lead on a dunk by Dou Gueye with 16:54 remaining.
After a bucket by Johnson gave Louisiana a 40-37 lead with 13:58 remaining, the Eagles would go on a 22-3 run to take the lead for good. After being held to 1-for-8 from behind the 3-point line in the first half, Georgia Southern connected on five shots from long range during the run that gave the Eagles a 59-43 lead.
Cedric Russell hit a baseline jumper during the stretch at the 10:00-mark that cut the Georgia State lead to 49-42, but the Ragin’ Cajuns would miss their next 13 attempts from the floor before a dunk by Chris Spenkuch with 33 seconds remaining stopped the drought.
Louisiana, which dressed out nine players including seven on scholarship for the second straight game, got 12 points from Smith before fouling out with 11:12 remaining. Temple added nine points and five assists for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Gueye pulling down a team-high seven rebounds.
The Ragin’ Cajuns, who finished 18-for-63 from the floor, posted season-lows in both points and field-goal percentage (28.6 percent) for the second straight game while going 10-for-22 (season-low 45.5 percent) from the free throw line.
Louisiana will return home for its next three games beginning on Thursday (Jan. 16) against UT Arlington at 7 p.m. The Ragin’ Cajuns will close out the weekend against Texas State in a Black Out Game on Jan. 18 before hosting ULM on Jan. 25 in the Alumni Game and Red Out featuring a halftime performance by Red Panda.