Jaguars Top Cajuns in Double OT, 91-89
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns came back from a seventeen point second half deficit, but in the end it was not enough as South Alabama got a dunk from Mychal Ammons with :20 left in the second overtime to defeat Louisiana 91-89 Thursday night at the Cajundome.
Shawn Long's three point attempt went all the way in and came back out as time expired.
Augustine Rubit led the way for South Alabama with 26 points, 21 coming after halftime. He added nine rebounds and was 10-11 from the free throw line. Dre Connor added 19 points, 15 in the first half. Antoine Allen also had 19 points, Ammons had ten including the game winner and Freddie Goldstein scored 11 points, including two clutch three pointers after the Cajuns had stormed back to take a 70-64 lead with 2:51 left in regulation.
Elfrid Payton had a career high 26 points for the Cajuns 6-12, 2-5 Sun Belt), who dropped their third straight league game. 22 of his points came after halftime. Bryant Mbamalu added 19 points after having just two at the half. Long added 14 points and a game high 14 rebounds, while freshman Steven Wronkoski tallied 12 points for the Cajuns.
The Jaguars (8-7, 4-3 SBC) led 14-7 in the first half before coming back to take a 20-19 lead with 8:48 to go in the first half. Long had seven of his points during that stretch. But after falling behind 22-20, South Alabama went on a 15-2 run to take a 35-24 lead with 2:02 to go.
The Jaguars led 40-30 at the half.
South Alabama increased its lead to 13 on a Rubit layup with 17:07 to go, but the Cajuns got a spark from Mbamalu and Payton who scored the next seventeen points for Louisiana to cut the lead to 55-50 midway through the second half. After the Jaguars increased the lead back to nine points, the Cajuns went on an 11-2 run capped by a jumper by Elridge Moore to the the game at 61.
Louisiana finally got the lead, 65-64 on a Mbamalu layup and and sparked a run that put the Cajuns up by six. But Goldstein hit a three pointer, and after Mbamalu made just one of three free throws, Goldstein drilled another trey to cut the lead to one.Payton and Rubit each made two free throws before an Ammons steal and dunk gave the Jags a 74-73 lead with :31 left. Payton made one of two free throws five seconds later to tie it and the Cajuns defense held to force the first extra period.
The Jaguars got the lead in the first overtime on a Goldstein jumper and didn't trail in the overtime until Wronkoski drilled a three pointer at the 2:03 mark to give the Cajuns an 81-80 lead. Moore made one of two free throws to increase the lead to two, but Antoine Allen's layup tied the game with :45 left. Payton missed a shot with :09 left, and the second period became necessary.
South Alabama went up by five in the second OT on two Rubit free throws with 3:07 to go, but Payton made back to back layups to slice the lead to one. Both teams missed shots before Long hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 89 with :38 left. Ammons then drove the left baseline and dunked the ball to give the Jaguars the win.
The game was delayed in the first half after several players slipped because of condensation on the Cajundome floor. With 4:48 to go, a four minute delay was ordered to turn on the air conditioning. That seemed to help until late in the game when more slippage occurred.
The Cajuns will take on Arkansas State in a rematch of their December 27th game this Saturday night at 7:15 at the 'Dome. Women's action will precede the men beginning at 5:00.