Cajuns can’t contain late rally by Eagles, fall 86-79

Cajun Nation

(UL ATHLETICS) – Ike Smith and Quan Jackson combined for 48 points while Calvin Wishart scored six of his 10 points in a late 7-0 run as Georgia Southern earned am 86-79 win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in a Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball game on Saturday at the Cajundome.

Elijah McCadden added 12 points while Jackson collected four steals as Georgia Southern (15-10, 9-5 Sun Belt) broke a 79-all tie on Wishart’s jumper from the left corner with 1:20 remaining.

Louisiana (10-15, 5-9 Sun Belt) led 74-67 on a putback by Tirus Smith with 6:28 remaining before the Eagles would connect on six of their final seven attempts from the floor.

A basket by McCadden before a steal and layup by Jackson quickly cut the Louisiana lead to 74-71 with 5:37 left before Jackson knotted the game at 74-all on a 3-pointer from the right wing.

Both teams would then trade baskets as Jalen Johnson would drain a 3-pointer that would give Louisiana a 77-76 lead at the 3:19 mark.

Jackson, who scored 23 points on 9 of 16 shooting, answered for Georgia Southern with a 3-pointer for a 79-77 lead at the 3:01 mark before Johnson would eventually tie the game for Louisiana with a basket with 1:39 remaining.

After Wishart’s go-ahead bucket with 1:20 left, Smith would make the first of two free throws before Wishart would connect on four free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.

Louisiana opened the game on an 11-6 run, fueled by an 11-1 run, and took a 20-14 lead on a bucket by Cedric Russell with 12:03 remaining in the first half. The Eagles would respond with a 9-1 run to take a 23-21 lead on layup by Smith with 9:43 left and would extend their lead to 42-37 on another layup by Smith at the 3:37 mark.

Smith scored a game-high 25 points to lead Georgia Southern, going 9-for-10 from the floor and 6-for-9 from the free throw line. The Eagles connected on 32 of 55 attempts from the floor (58.2 percent) and 17 of 25 attempts from the free throw line.

Russell scored a season-high 23 points to lead Louisiana while P.J. Hardy added 16. Johnson chipped in with 14 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who finished 29-for-60 (48.3 percent) from the floor and an uncharacteristic 13-for-20 (65.0 percent) from the charity stripe.

Smith scored all 10 of his points in the second half for Louisiana while freshman Mylik Wilson had nine points, a game-high nine rebounds with three assists and two steals.

Louisiana will head out on the road for its next three games beginning on Thursday (Feb. 13) at South Alabama. The Ragin’ Cajuns will then visit Troy (Feb. 15) and ULM (Feb. 22) before returning home to host Arkansas State on Feb. 26.

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