Electrifying win as UL beats Little Rock, 66-64

Cajun Nation

(UL ATHLETICS PRESS RELEASE) – Cedric Russell sank a pair of game-tying free throws with 1:09 remaining and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns held off defending Sun Belt Conference champion Little Rock, 66-64, in the first of a two-game series on Friday at the Cajundome.
 
The win for Louisiana (8-2, 2-1 Sun Belt) earned head coach Bob Marlin his 111th career victory in Sun Belt Conference play, tying him with legendary coach Gene Bartow of UAB (1979-91) for third place in league history.
 
In a game that featured 13 lead changes and 17 ties, Louisiana never trailed after two buckets by Mylik Wilson gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a 42-40 lead with 13:24 remaining. Five straight points by freshman Ty Harper, capped by a 3-pointer from the right wing, gave Louisiana a 51-46 lead – the largest cushion by either team in the game.
 
Little Rock (6-4, 2-1 Sun Belt) stayed close, tying the contest six times in the final 8:47 and losing Nikola Maric to fouls with 6:20 remaining.
 
A free by Marko Andric with 5:59 remaining tied the game at 58-58 but Russell buried a 3-pointer on the Ragin’ Cajuns following possession, giving Louisiana a 61-58 lead at the 5:47 mark.  
 
Louisiana would miss its last six attempts from the floor the rest of the game, but made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch as Dou GueyeTheo Akwuba and Russell each converted for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
 
The Trojans missed an opportunity to twice tie the game in the final minute as Kris Bankston missed a short jumper and forced Louisiana into a desperation shot on the ensuing possession with the shot clock winding down.
 
After Ruot Monyyong collected his 13th rebound of the contest, Little Rock had one final opportunity to score, but Monyyong’s 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
 
Russell and Akwuba scored 12 points each to lead Louisiana with Wilson and freshman Isaiah Richards adding 10 points each. Akwuba grabbed 13 rebounds to record his fourth double-double of the season for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Richards pulling down nine.
 
Maric led Little Rock with 18 points, going 8-for-13 from the floor, with Monyyong adding 17 on 8-for-14 aim.
 
The teams will conclude their two-game series on Saturday at 4 p.m. 

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