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Louisiana's season and NCAA appearance showcase bright future ahead for program

Louisiana fell to Tennessee 58-55 in down to the wire first-round matchup
Posted at 10:11 PM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 23:11:31-04

ORLANDO, Fla. – Trailing by 18 with 11 minutes to play and their season on the line, the Louisiana men’s basketball team’s comeback fell just short against 4-seed Tennessee at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The Cajuns cut the Volunteer lead down to three before they hit just enough free throws down the stretch for the 58-55 final.

The Ragin’ Cajuns finished the season with 26 wins, the most since 2017-18 when the Bob Marlin-led squad won 27. This season’s team also captured the program’s fifth SBC tournament championship.

The second half comeback began when Kobe Julien caught fire. With the Cajuns trailing 48-30, the sophomore scored 11 points as part of a 13-0 Cajun run to make it 48-43 and forced a timeout by the Volunteers. Tennessee ran their lead back up to nine, but Jalen Dalcourt kept them in the game with a pair of threes.

Julien hit a pair of free throws to trim the deficit to three with 23 seconds remaining but free throws from the Vols sealed the game and ended the upset bid.

In the first half, the Ragin’ Cajuns utilized 7-0 run over the span of 1:55 to take an 11-10 lead. Jordan Brown led Louisiana in the opening frame as he scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and the Cajuns forced 12 turnovers, but trailed by 11 at the break.

Brown was the game’s high scorer with 16 points and lead both teams with seven rebounds. Julien finished the night with 15 points off the bench while Dalcourt added 11. The duo combined to go 6-for-11 from three in the second half to spark the comeback. Terence Lewis II added eight points and five boards while Themus Fulks led all players with 11 assists.

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