LAFAYETTE – Junior guard Trajan Wesley scored a career-high 16 points to lead Louisiana Men’s Basketball past New Orleans, 80-67 on Friday night at the Cajundome.
Wesley made four of his nine attempts from the floor and converted eight of nine shots from the free-throw line to bolster his scoring tally. The Navasota, Texas native is active this season after missing the entirety of the 2020-21 season with a foot injury.
Three other Ragin’ Cajuns scored in double figures in the contest including a pair 13-point performances by senior forward Dou Gueye and freshman Kentrell Garnett.
Gueye, who made his first start of the season in place of an injured Theo Akwuba, hit six of 12 shots and collected 11 rebounds to go along with three assists.
Garnett drilled four 3-pointers and fell just one point shy of tying his collegiate high.
Kobe Julien had his fingerprints in all aspects of the game, the redshirt freshman scored 12 points, grabbed four rebounds, blocked three shots, and recorded a steal.
Despite Akwuba’s absence, Louisiana outrebounded New Orleans 45-32 on the night. Sophomore Jordan Brown led the way with 12 boards, while freshman Isaiah Richards grabbed nine in addition to Gueye’s output.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were ready from the opening tip, jumping to an 8-0 lead behind a pair of layups from Gueye. Louisiana maintained its advantage until the seven-minute mark of the opening period when the Privateers strung together a 7-0 run to cut their deficit down to two.
Garnett drilled a 3-pointer a few possessions later to push the lead back up to six, but a half-court shot at the buzzer by Privateers’ senior guard Troy Green knocked the advantage down to just 34-32 as the teams headed to their respective locker rooms.
Louisiana displayed a multifaceted scoring attack throughout with five different Ragin’ Cajuns converting the team’s first five field goals to begin the second half.
New Orleans continued to battle as a pair of Louisiana turnovers propelled a 9-2 run that gave the Privateers their first lead of the game with just under 13 minutes remaining.
Wesley put a stop to the offensive charge with a tough finish on an and-one layup. The three-point play sparked a pivotal 10-0 response from Louisiana that proved to be the difference. New Orleans never got closer than six points following the scoring burst.
Junior Jalen Dalcourt notched four free throws in the closing minutes to reach the game’s final tally.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will be back in action at 7 p.m. Wednesday when they host McNeese at the Cajundome. The game will be available for live stream on ESPN+.
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