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Payton Keys Cajuns’ Comeback Against Owls, 58-57

ragincajuns.com

Elfrid Payton hit two free throws to get the Cajuns’ within one point and then hit the game-winner with just under six seconds remaining to give Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns a come from behind 58-57 win over Florida Atlantic Saturday night in the Cajundome.

Louisiana (10-17, 6-10 Sun Belt) held the Owls (12-16, 7-10) scoreless over the final 3:35.

The Cajuns led most of the game, but FAU battled back to take a 55-50 lead with 4:25 left.

The teams then traded baskets and the Owls led by five with 3:35 left.  Bryant Mbamalu hit two free throws to get the Cajuns within three.  Both teams missed opportunities before Payton hit two free throws to get the Cajuns within one with :34 left.

Pablo Bertone missed the front end of a one and one to give the Cajuns one more chance and, after a time out, Payton knifed through the defense and hit an off balance shot off the glass for the game winner.

The Cajuns then forced Gregg Gantt, the league’s leading scorer, into a turnover with less than one second remaining.

Gantt was just 6-24 from the field, but led the Owls in scoring with 18 points.  The FAU backcourt of Gantt, Stefan Moody and Bertone were just 15-50 from the field.

Shawn Long led four Cajuns in double figures with 16 points, 13 after intermission.  He played only four minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.  Payton added 14, Alan-Michael Thompson 13 and Mbamalu ten.

The Cajuns will play host to Troy in their next Sun Belt game Thursday at 7:05.

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