(UL Athletics) – Markquis Nowell scored a game-high 19 points to lead five players in double figures and Jovan Stulic hit a pair of 3-pointers in a late 15-3 run to help Little Rock pull away and defeat the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 91-69, on Saturday in a Sun Belt Conference game at the Jack Stephens Center.
Ben Coupet, Jr., scored 15 points while Ruot Monyyong posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds as Little Rock (21-9, 15-4 Sun Belt) clinched its first Sun Belt Conference title since 2016. Stulic added 11 points for the Trojans, who were efficient in the second half going 18-for-27 (66.7 percent) from the floor in the second half and 7-for-13 from behind the 3-point line.
Louisiana (12-18, 7-12 Sun Belt) battled back from an early 12-point deficit in the first half as Little Rock opened the game on a 16-4 run. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored 12 straight points, capped by a basket by Mylik Wilson, that tied the game at 16-all before Little Rock used a 9-2 run to forge a 25-18 advantage.
The Ragin’ Cajuns took a 26-25 lead as Jalen Johnson capped an 8-0 run with a three-point play with 5:55 remaining in the first half before the Trojans scored the next seven points to claim the lead for good.
Louisiana, which was 2-for-20 (a season-low 10 percent) from behind the 3-point line, closed the gap to 43-38 with 18:26 remaining and 57-48 on a bucket by Wilson at the 12:19 mark before Little Rock would pull away.
Coupet opened the Trojans’ late run with a bucket before Stulic sank a 3-pointer for a 62-48 lead with 10:46 left. Nikola Maric added a dunk to answer a Cedric Russell jumper and later added a jumper with Stulic draining his third 3-pointer of the game that would eventually putting the Trojans ahead, 72-51.
Wilson scored 18 points to lead Louisiana with Russell adding 17 points and P.J. Hardy 10. Trajan Wesley added nine points for the Ragin’ Cajuns while Dou Gueye hauled in a career-high 13 rebounds.
Louisiana will wrap up the regular-season on Tuesday against Coastal Carolina (15-15, 8-11 Sun Belt) in a 7 p.m. contest at the Cajundome. The Ragin’ Cajuns, who are tied with Arkansas State for 10th place in the Sun Belt Conference standings and one game behind Coastal, can clinch the No. 8 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a win over the Chanticleers.