PENSACOLA, Fla. — After scoring in double-figures just five times during the regular season, Louisiana junior guard Greg Williams Jr. has done so on three-straight occasions in Pensacola to lead the No. 8-seeded Ragin’ Cajuns to their ninth all-time Sun Belt tournament championship appearance.
Louisiana topped No. 4-seeded Troy, 66-57, in the Hercules Tires Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Championship semifinals to advance to Monday’s championship game. The Ragin’ Cajuns' ninth appearance will tie them with South Alabama for the most among current Sun Belt programs.
Williams Jr. and junior forward Theo Akwuba combined for 18-of-29 Ragin’ Cajuns first-half points on .600 shooting (6-of-10) from the floor. Troy had nine different players on the first-half score sheet led by five points from sophomore guard Desmond Williams.
After the break, Louisiana strung together a 15-2 run from the 18:05 to 13:32 marks to open up a game-high 17-point margin, 46-29. Troy responded with a seven-point run of its own over the next 1:11 to cut the lead back to 10, 46-36.
The Ragin’ Cajuns then scored seven-straight to once again extend the lead to a game-high 17 with 8:25 to play. Troy used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to eight, 60-52, with 2:09 to play, but would get no closer.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will take on the winner of No. 3-seeded Georgia State and No. 2-seeded App State in the tournament championship game at 6 p.m. CT on Monday, March 7. The game will be nationally broadcast on ESPN2.
Louisiana has six Sun Belt tournament wins in eight prior championship game appearances—though the 2004 and 2005 titles were later vacated. The Ragin’ Cajuns' most recent tournament crown and NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2014.
Williams Jr. finished with a team-high 16 points, one ahead of Akwuba’s 15.
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