Cajuns’ Second Half Surge Humbles Cowboys, 92-66
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns saw a 17 point first half lead melt to just three points at intermission.
At halftime, Cajuns’ coach Bob Marlin instructed his team to feed the big guy. And, the big guy responded.
Shawn Long scored 24 of his career-high-tying 29 points after intermission as the Cajuns outscored McNeese State 51-28 in the second half en route to a 92-66 win before 3.071 fans at the Cajundome.
Louisiana (2-0) led 32-15 with 7:03 left in the first half, but Ledrick Eackles four point play started a 16-2 McNeese run which cut the lead to 34-31 four minutes later. All five field goals for the Cowboys during that stretch were three pointers, with Eackles hitting three of them. The teams traded baskets and Louisiana led 41-38 at the intermission.
But Long, named earlier in the day as the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week, hit nine of thirteen shots in the second half, including three triples. The Cajuns took a double digit lead, 57-47 with 13:59 to go on a layup by Elridge Moore who had a career-high 16 points to go along with nine rebounds. Moore’s basket was part of a 17-3 run which extended the Cajuns’ lead to 20, 70-50, with 8:37 left.
Long also added 15 rebounds, ten in the second half as the Cajuns outrebounded the Cowboys, 46-41. He also had five blocked shots.
Elfrid Payton scored 22 points, 16 in the first half as the third Cajun in double figures. Payton also had five of the Cajuns’ fourteen steals in the game.
McNeese (0-2) was led by Adrian Fields’19 points, including 5-8 from beyond the arc. Eackles added 16, but did not score in the final 19 minutes of the game, as Moore and Xavian Rimmer shut down the Cowboys’ sharpshooter.
The Cajuns will now play six of their next seven games away from the Cajundome, beginning Friday when they travel to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena.