LAFAYETTE (Press Release) – Cedric Russell and Mylik Wilson combined for 23 points in the second half and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns erased a 16-point deficit in the second half to rally past in-state rival Louisiana Tech, 61-56, on Saturday at the Cajundome.
Russell scored a game-high 25 points as Louisiana (4-1) posted the second-largest comeback victory in the Bob Marlin era and snapped a two-game losing streak against its in-state rivals.
Wilson scored all 11 of his points after halftime as the Ragin’ Cajuns outscored Louisiana Tech (4-2), 40-21, in the second half and held a dominating 49-32 advantage on the glass. Theo Akwuba and Devin Butts each pulled down 10 boards for Louisiana, which held the Bulldogs to 7-for-26 aim (27 percent) from the floor in the second half and 19-for-56 (34 percent) for the game.
Louisiana Tech opened the game on an 11-3 run, scoring nine straight after Brayan Au’s 3-pointer game the Ragin’ Cajuns the early lead. Louisiana answered with a 14-5 run as a 3-pointer by Russell with 9:16 remaining in the first half gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a 17-16 lead.
The Bulldogs would retake the lead on Andrew Gordon’s bucket in the lane with 7:41 left in the half before extending their lead to 35-21 at the break.
A bucket by Kalob Ledoux with 19:25 remaining gave Louisiana Tech its biggest lead of the game – 37-21 – before Louisiana would whittle away at the lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns trailed 46-35 after a three-point play by Kenneth Lofton with 12:43 left before scoring the next 13 points to reclaim the lead. Wilson started the rally with a layup before back-to-back buckets by freshman Isaiah Richards closed the gap to 46-41 at the 11:05 mark.
Wilson followed with a pair of buckets to close the Bulldog lead to 46-45 before Russell buried a 3-pointer from the left corner – the only 3-pointer made in the second half by the Ragin’ Cajuns – for a 48-46 lead with 8:30 remaining.
Louisiana Tech would eventually tie the game at 52-all on a 3-pointer by Ledoux with 5:32 remaining, but the Ragin’ Cajuns would take the lead for good after a Wilson free throw with 5:10 left.
Russell and Akwuba each added free throws in the final minute to seal the win for Louisiana, which finished 11-for-15 from the free throw line with the duo going a combined 9-for-9 for the game.
After going 7-for-24 (24 percent) from the floor in the opening half, Louisiana finished 22-for-64 (43 percent) for the game while holding the Bulldogs to 19-for-56 (34 percent) from the floor. Richards added nine points and eight rebounds off the bench for Louisiana, going 4-for-4 from the floor.
Lofton led Louisiana Tech with 13 points before fouling out in the final minute. Amorie Archibald added 12 points for the Bulldogs with Ledoux and Isaiah Crawford scoring 11 each.
Louisiana will continue its homestand on Tuesday when it plays host to New Orleans in a 6 p.m. contest at the Cajundome. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ and broadcast in the Lafayette area on KPEL 96.5 FM and ESPN 1420 AM.
Season-ticket holders can download their tickets through mobile ticketing from Ticketmaster. Fans can download the #GeauxCajuns app to their smart phone to begin the process. Season-ticket holders who are unable to download tickets or wish to have printed can visit the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the Cajundome to have them printed.
For more information on Men's Basketball tickets, fans can call the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2170.
The Cajundome will operate at a significantly reduced capacity for the 2020-21 season (unless state COVID-19 policy changes during the season). This will allow for fans and University students to be accommodated this season. The Department of Athletics will quickly communicate any schedule adjustments or changes to attendance protocols through its social media channels and RaginCajuns.com.
In the interest of public safety and following the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) Best Practices Guide, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Department is implementing a clear bag policy at all venues that host ticketed events effective with the 2020-21 competition season. Information about the clear bag policy can be found by visiting www.RaginCajuns.com/clearbag [ragincajuns.com].
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