Cajun Nation

Hot-Shooting Chanticleers Pull Away From Ragin Cajun Men's Basketball, 96-79

CONWAY, S.C. – Zac Cuthbertson scored 24 points to lead five players in double figures and Coastal Carolina shot 58 percent from the floor, including 13 3-pointers, to pull away and defeat the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, 96-79, in a Sun Belt Conference game on Saturday at the HTC Center.
Freshman Ebrima Dibba posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists while DeVante Jones added 16 points as Coastal Carolina (12-9, 6-3 SBC) won its fifth straight game overall and its first against Louisiana (13-9, 4-5 SBC) in four contests.
The Chanticleers finished 33-for-57 (58 percent) from the floor, including a 13-for-23 performance from behind the 3-point line. Tyrell Gumbs-Frater came off the bench to score 15 points, all from behind the 3-point line, while Tommy Burton added 13 points.
The Chanticleers opened the game on a 10-2 run as Jones and Cuthbertson each sank 3-pointers during the spurt. The Ragin' Cajuns chipped away at the lead, cutting the gap to 14-12, on a bucket by Cedric Russell with 12:59 remaining before eventually taking their only lead of the game – 34-33 – on Jeremy Hayes' dunk at the 3:10 mark.
After Marcus Stroman's layup gave Louisiana a 38-37 lead with 1:32 remaining in the first half, CCU went on a 7-0 run with Dibba scored a pair of buckets and Cuthbertson converting a three-point play.
Louisiana, which trailed by as many as eight points in the first half and 44-38 at the break, closed the gap to 59-57 after a pair of free throws by P.J. Hardywith 13:27 remaining. The Chanticleers responded with back-to-back 3-pointers by Gumbs-Frater and Dibba to push their lead to 65-57 while not letting the Ragin' Cajuns closer than six the rest of the way.
Cuthbertson, who finished 6-for-10 from the floor, 3-for-5 from behind the 3-point line and 9-for-11 from the charity stripe, gave Coastal Carolina its biggest lead of the game – 96-78 – with a 3-pointer with 1:40 remaining.
JaKeenan Gant led Louisiana with a game-high 27 points and 12 rebounds, recording his Sun Belt-leading 10th double-double of the year. Jerekius Davisscored all 12 of his points in the first half for the Ragin' Cajuns with Stroman adding 11.
The Ragin' Cajuns were held to 29-for-68 (43 percent) from the floor, including 7-for-28 (25 percent) from behind the 3-point line and 14-for-22 (64 percent) from the free throw line.
Louisiana will return to action on Wednesday (Feb. 6) when it plays host to Georgia Southern in a 7 p.m. contest at the Cajundome. The Ragin' Cajuns will continue their three-game homestand on Friday (Feb. 8) in a nationally-televised contest against Georgia State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m., and will be televised on ESPN2.

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