LAFAYETTE – Freshman Mylik Wilson recorded his first career double-double, establishing career-bests with 18 points and 13 rebounds and Louisiana (6-9, 1-3 Sun Belt) got a balanced attack from its revised starting lineup as it earned a 79-62 win over Troy in a Sun Belt Conference game on Saturday at the Cajundome.
Doug Gueye and freshman Calvin Temple, making his first career start in place on an injured Trajan Wesley, scored a season-high 16 and 12 points each for Louisiana (6-9, 1-3 Sun Belt). Tirus Smith matched his season-high with 15 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns while Cedric Russell added 15 points, including four 3-pointers.
The game started slow with neither team scoring until Smith’s three-point play at the 17:36 mark of the first half for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Troy (5-10, 1-3 Sun Belt) built a 16-8 lead with 13:05 remaining on Ty Gordon’s three-point play, and the Trojans took their biggest lead of the night, 23-13, on Darian Adams’ bucket.
Louisiana would rally to tie the game at 31-all on a basket by Russell and would regain the lead when Wilson converted on a three-point play with 4:32 left in the half.
Troy would use an 11-0 run that was capped by Desmond Williams’ 3-pointer with 2:00 left before intermission, but the Ragin’ Cajuns would get a free throw by Smith and a bucket by Wilson to close to within 42-37 at the break.
Louisiana got off to a hot start in the second half opening with on 15-3 run and taking a 52-45 lead on a three-point play by Temple with 14:02 left. Gueye, who finished 6-for-11 from the field, help provide the spark early accounting for eight points during the run.
Troy, which was held to 7-for-26 (27 percent) from the floor in the second half, closed to within 57-54 on a pair of free throws by Gordon with 7:51 remaining, but Louisiana would respond with a 9-2 run that was capped by a three-point play by Wilson with 4:58 remaining.
The Ragin’ Cajuns finished 29-for-57 (51 percent) from the floor, 8-for-18 (44 percent) from behind the 3-point line and 13-for-15 (87 percent) from the charity stripe. Louisiana held a decisive 42-27 advantage on the glass with Wilson getting three of his 13 rebounds on the offensive end.
Gordon and Adams scored 15 points each to lead Troy, which lost its third straight game after leading at the half. Adams hauled in six rebounds for the Trojans, who went 6-for-15 from behind the 3-point line in the first half before going 2-for-12 after intermission and finishing 8-for-27 (30 percent) overall.
Louisiana will head to Boone, N.C., to battle Appalachian State on Monday (Jan. 6), with tipoff set for 7 p.m. ET.
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