PENSACOLA, Fla. – Lafayette, La. natives Jalen Dalcourt and Greg Williams, Jr. combined for 28 points to lead Louisiana Men’s Basketball past UT Arlington in the first round of the 2022 Sun Belt Tournament at the Pensacola Bay Center on Thursday morning.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are undefeated in the first round of the conference tournament under head coach Bob Marlin.
Dalcourt totaled a team-high 16 points behind a career-high five 3-pointers. The junior also collected two rebounds, two steals and a block.
Williams Jr. added 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished two assists.
Senior forward Dou Gueye contributed nine second-half points, five rebounds and a pair of assists.
Freshman guard Kentrell Garnett tallied seven points in nine minutes with a perfect 4-4 performance at the line.
Junior forward Theo Akwuba aided the cause with seven points, four boards and a block.
Led by Dalcourt, Williams, Jr. and sophomore Brayan Au, Louisiana started strong following the opening tip and jumped out to a 10-3 lead with just under five minutes elapsed.
Utilizing efficient shooting from beyond the arc, Louisiana strung together a 17-7 run that extended the lead to 17 with 6:22 remaining in the first half. The Ragin’ Cajuns began the game 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Sophomore Durey Cadwell, Williams, Jr. and Garnett buried triples in the offensive charge.
As a team, Louisiana shot 57.14 (8-14) percent from beyond the arc in the game. The performance from deep was the second best of the season only trailing a 58.8 percent night against Xavier (La.) on Nov. 17.
UT Arlington cut the advantage to 12 moments later, but a 3-pointer by Dalcourt sparked a 9-3 run to put Louisiana up 63-19 with two minutes remaining in the half.
The Mavericks closed the opening 20 minutes on an 8-0 run as the Ragin’ Cajuns led 36-27 as the teams headed to the locker room.
UT Arlington continued to chip away to begin the second half. The Mavericks closed the gap to four, but Dalcourt again answered with a 3-pointer and initiated a 10-3 run that gave Louisiana a 51-41 lead with just over six minutes remaining.
Leading by 13 with three minutes left in the contest, Gueye intercepted a pass and threw down a dunk on the other end to push the advantage to 60-46.
UTA closed the game on an 18-7 run as a game-tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds missed the mark.
Louisiana will be back in action at 11:30 a.m. (CT) Saturday to face No. 1 Texas State in the quarterfinal round at the Bay Center. The game will be available to be streamed live on ESPN+.
For the latest on Louisiana Men's Basketball, stay tuned to RaginCajuns.com and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (RaginCajunsMBB).
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