Cajuns Battle and Defeat Tulane to Earn Third Place Finish
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns capture third place in the Gulf Coast Showcase on Wednesday as they defeated the Tulane Green Wave 68-61.
The game for third place was up for grabs between the Cajuns and the Green Wave and halfway through the first half the game was pretty even sitting at 14-9 UL. The defense was stout early on for Louisiana and when they'd moved the ball swiftly they were able to score with ease.
To close the half the Tulane Green Wave went on a 9-3 run to grab the lead at 34-31. The Cajuns were shooting better from the field and from three Wednesday afternoon as they were 5-13 from three at the half and were shooting 35.3% overall. Jakeenan Gant was leading the way with nine points on 3-9 shooting and five rebounds. Marcus Stroman and Justin Miller were also contributing to the scoring with seven points apiece. In addition, Louisiana already had more assists (6) than they did in their previous game against Toledo (5), shots were falling better to start in this one.
As the second half got underway UL found themselves with their biggest deficit (40-33) within three minutes of the second half. However, as we know basketball is a game of runs and Louisiana went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 40 with a couple three's courtesy of Cedric Russell and Marcus Stroman.
As the game came down the stretch of the second half it was a back and forth affair with the Cajuns turning a halftime deficit into a lead at 61-55 with three minutes remaining. Their half-court defense had been phenomenal to this point which would be key for them to close out this game with a victory.
The Green Wave would hit a slump at the worse time as the UL defense held them without a point for over six minutes to about the two-minute mark of the second half. That would ultimately do Tulane in as the Cajuns defeated them 68-61 to capture third place in the Gulf Coast Showcase.
Three guys really stepped up for Louisiana Wednesday afternoon as Marcus Stroman poured in 19 of his career-high 26 points in the second half. Jakeenan Gant added 17 points with 11 rebounds and Justin Miller chipped in 11 points and 14 rebounds. It's also worth noting that UL defeated Tulane on the boards as well 48-44.
With the win, the Ragin' Cajuns pull their record even at 3-3. The team will return to the state of Louisiana to play the University of New Orleans next Wednesday, November 28 at 7 pm in New Orleans.