LAFAYETTE – Redshirt-freshman forward Kobe Julien scored 20 points for the fifth time in his career, but the individual effort was not for Louisiana Men’s Basketball to overtake Texas State as the Ragin’ Cajuns fell, 82-73 Thursday night at the Cajundome.
Julien converted 9-15 shots from the floor including 4-7 from beyond the arc and grabbed five rebounds to round out his stat line. The Baton Rouge, La. native has totaled 15+ points in three of the last four games.
Junior Brayan Au came off the bench and scored a season-high 10 points in the contest. Au, who has been recovering from injury for most of the year also played a season-high 20 minutes. The entirety of his scoring total came in the first half.
Junior forward Theo Akwuba added nine points on an efficient 3-4 shots and tallied a team-high eight rebounds.
Freshman guard Kentrell Garnett contributed eight points, two assists and two rebounds.
Aided by hot shooting from beyond the arc, the Bobcats jumped out to early 19-8 in the opening five minutes.
Taking the floor with the Ragin’ Cajuns trailing, Au buried two 3-pointers and sparked a 17-1 response run that spanned seven minutes of action. Louisiana held the visitors scoreless for six minutes and 44 seconds during the charge.
With just over five minutes remaining in the half, Texas State again used 3-pointers and free throws to initiate another 10-0 scoring streak.
Following a pair of conversions by junior Trajan Welsey at the charity stripe, Greg Williams Jr. knocked down a shot from the top of the arc as time expired in the opening frame. The clutch basket cut the Bobcats advantage to 41-36 as the teams headed to their locker rooms.
The conference foes traded baskets following the break. A string of shooting fouls sent Louisiana to the line as Jordan Brown and Joe Charles scored four points as part of a 10-2 run that cut the Ragin’ Cajuns deficit to just one with just under 12 minutes on the clock.
A few possessions later, Garnett knotted the game at 51 with his first 3-pointer of the night. Minutes after tying the contest, the second-year guard knocked down a pair of free throws to Louisiana its first lead of the half at the 6:37 mark.
With the game hanging in the balance, Texas State took control with a final 14-3 run down the stretch.
While the Bobcats converted 8-8 shots at the foul line, freshman forward Joe Charles and Garnett added 3-pointers in the final minutes to match the score with its final tally.
Louisiana will be back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday when it returns welcomes UT Arlington to the Cajundome. The contest will be available to be live-streamed on ESPN+.
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