LAFAYETTE – Four Ragin’ Cajuns scored in double figures, including an 18-point performance by sophomore Jordan Brown, as Louisiana Men’s Basketball defeated Xavier (La.) 84-72 Wednesday night at the Cajundome.
With the victory, Louisiana improves to 3-0 on the season, marking their best start since the 1995-96 campaign.
Brown was 7 of 11 from the floor and connected on two shots from beyond the arc. Entering the game, the Roseville, Calif. native had attempted just two 3-pointers and had yet to find a make. The sophomore also contributed six rebounds and a team-high two blocks.
Junior Theo Akwuba reached double figures for the first time this season finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
Newcomer Jalen Dalcuourt broke out of his early season shooting slump tallying 13 points off the bench on 5 of 6 from the floor and a perfect 3 of 3 from downtown.
Greg Williams, Jr. continued to provide a steady offensive hand, the Lafayette native recorded 10 points, added five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Kobe Julien rounded out the top performers with an all-around stat sheet that featured eight points, three rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.
Following the opening tip, the two teams remained tight in the first minutes with Xavier (La.) taking a 9-7 lead following a three-pointer with just over four minutes elapsed.
The Ragin’ Cajuns proceeded on a 17-2 run that began with back-to-back layups by Brown and was capped off by consecutive makes from Dalcourt.
Even with the quick offense flash, The Gold Rush did not fold. Instead, they kept with Louisiana for the remainder of the half only allowing the point differential to increase by two with the scoreboard at the break reading 43-28.
Dalcourt, Brown and Akuba continued to excel offensively into the second half, but their efforts continued to be matched with opposing scores.
Xavier (La.) ramped up the pressure with a 7-2 run that spanned the midpoint of the final 20 minutes, but Louisiana did just enough to keep the game out of reach and stave off any potential comeback threats.
The Ragin’ Cajuns protected a double-digit lead until the final buzzer, despite The Golden Rush closing on an 11-4 run.
Louisiana will now begin their toughest road trip of the season with a meeting at Indiana on Sunday and Marshall next Tuesday. The Ragin Cajuns will return to the Cajundome on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. to face their second HBCU program in Jackson State.
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