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No. 8 Louisiana Primed for Quarterfinal Matchup Against No. 1 Texas State

LA Lafayette Houston Basketball
Posted at 11:49 PM, Mar 04, 2022

LAFAYETTE – No. 8 Louisiana Men's Basketball will face No. 1 Texas State in the quarterfinal round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament 11:30 a.m. (CT) Saturday at the Pensacola Bay Center. The contest is available to be streamed live on ESPN+.

Louisiana defeated UT Arlington 67-64 in the tournament's opening round on Thursday. Under Bob Marlin, the Ragin' Cajuns have never suffered a first-round loss.

Louisiana clinched the eighth seed after finishing the regular season with a 13-14 record including an 8-8 mark against conference opponents.

Lafayette, La. natives Jalen Dalcourt and Greg Williams, Jr. combined for 28 points in Wednesday's victory.

Dalcourt posted a team a team-high 16 points with a career-best 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.

Sophomore forward Jordan Brown, who leads the team with 14.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season, tallied six points and six rebounds against the Mavericks. On Monday, Brown was named second-team all-conference.

With 21 points and 11 rebounds against South Alabama (Jan. 20), the Roseville, Calif. native became one of just 36 players this season to have multiple performances of 15+ points and 15+ rebounds.

Louisiana is now 35-24 (28-24) all-time in Sun Belt Tournament games. The Ragin' Cajuns have won the conference championship six times (1992, 1994, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2014). The 2004 and 2005 records were vacated due to NCAA sanctions.

For the majority of the season, Louisiana has relied on the inside presence of Brown and junior forward Theo Akwuba. Led by the pairing, the Ragin' Cajuns rank third in the Sun Belt with 4.26 blocks per game and second in the conference with 38.9 rebounds per contest.

With a 16 point, 15 rebound performance by Akwuba against Arkansas State (Jan. 6) Louisiana became one of just four teams in the nation with multiple 16+ point and 15+ rebound performers this season.

Down the stretch of the 2021-22 regular season campaign, Dalcourt and Williams elevated their offensive production. Dalcourt scored 10+ in four of the last five contests before the postseason while Williams Jr. notched 18 in the team's final game against Georgia State on Feb. 25.

Texas State earned the conference's No. 1 seed with a 21-6 record including a 12-3 mark against conference opponents. The Bobcats are led by senior guard Caleb Asberry who is averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds this season. Asberry was named First Team All-Sun Belt on Monday.

Saturday will mark the 23rd meeting between the two programs, the Ragin' Cajuns lead the all-time series 15-7 as the programs are an even 3-3 when facing each other in the last two years.

With Wednesday's victory, Marlin earned his 444th victory. He currently ranks 30th on the career wins list among active NCAA Men's Basketball coaches.

As the head coach of Pensacola Junior College from 1990-95 Marlin compiled a 123-35 record and won the NJCAA National Championship in 1993. In 2007 he was inducted into the Florida Junior College Hall of Fame and in 2019 he was inducted into the Pensacola Junior College Hall of Fame.

Louisiana's 2021-22 roster features two second-generation talents in Julien and Brown. Julien's father Wayne was with the program from 1976-81 and was a member of the 1977 Southland Conference championship team.He finished his career with 1,412 points and 926 rebounds (then second in school history) and helped then-USL to the championship of the 1982 Great Alaskan Shootout where he was named to the All-Tournament team.

Dion Brown lettered for the Ragin' Cajuns from 1980-84 and finished his career as one of the top scorers and rebounders in school history. Brown, a 1984 graduate of UL, earned All-Southland Conference honors in 1982 and was a two-time All-Louisiana selection.

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