LAFAYETTE — Cedric Russell scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Men's Basketball team used a late 11-2 run to pull away and defeat in-state rival New Orleans, 73-63, in a non-conference game on Tuesday at the Cajundome.
Theo Akwuba flirted with a triple-double, scoring 11 points with 14 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks as Louisiana (5-1) won its fifth straight game after opening the season on Nov. 28 against then No. 1-ranked Baylor. Mylik Wilson added 15 points and a career-high tying five steals for the Ragin' Cajuns with Dou Gueye adding 10 points and eight rebounds.
After earning a 66-63 win over New Orleans (1-6) on Dec. 2 at Lakefront Arena, the Ragin' Cajuns got another hard battle again against their former Sun Belt Conference rival as the Privateers led 35-31 at the break.
Damion Rosser, who scored all 10 of his points in the opening half, gave the Privateers a 31-27 lead on a layup with 2:18 remaining in the first half before a pair of free throws by Lamont Berzat and a bucket by Troy Green kept the Ragin' Cajuns from tying.
Green, who scored 15 points to lead New Orleans, gave the Privateers a 40-35 lead with a basket at the 18:11 mark in the second half before Louisiana answered.
Devin Butts sank a 3-pointer from the left wing with 15:32 remaining that tied the game at 42-all before a dunk by Akwuba at the 12:40 mark would give Louisiana its first lead since late in the first half.
Russell, who finished 8-for-18 from the floor, put Louisiana ahead for good with 7:48 remaining when he scored on an off-balanced three-point play in the lane for a 55-52 lead.
Louisiana would extend its lead to 62-55 on a basket by Gueye with 4:00 left and after Berzat cut the deficit to 62-58 with 3:28 left, the Ragin' Cajuns would pull away to earn their eighth straight win over New Orleans while claiming its 13th straight victory over the Privateers in games played in Lafayette.
Wilson, who scored 10 points in the second half, scored six straight points for Louisiana as his basket at the 3:11 mark gave the Ragin' Cajuns a 64-58 lead. Wilson added a second-bucket after Rosser missed a 1-and-1 with 2:28 left before extending Louisiana's lead to 68-58 with a pair of free throws with 1:23 remaining.
Gueye added a pair of free throws with 1:07 remaining for Louisiana before Akwuba made one of two free throws for a 71-58 cushion with 51 seconds left.
Jacobi Gordon tied a season-high with eight points for Louisiana with Butts adding seven off the bench. The Ragin' Cajuns finished 28-for-61 (46 percent) from the field while holding the Privateers to 23-for-55 (42 percent) from the floor and 4-for-13 (31 percent) from behind the 3-point line.
Berzat scored 13 points for New Orleans, which was playing the sixth game away from home this season and will face LSU on Wednesday to wrap up non-conference play.
Louisiana will continue its nine-game homestand on Saturday when it wraps up non-conference play on Saturday against McNeese State at 7 p.m. at the Cajundome. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ and broadcast in the Lafayette area on KPEL 96.5 FM.
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
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers