SAN MARCOS, Texas – Cedric Russell scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second half and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Men’s Basketball team won its fourth straight game with a 62-60 Sun Belt Conference victory over Texas State on Saturday at Strahan Arena.
Dou Gueye added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as Louisiana (12-4, 6-3 Sun Belt) improved to 6-2 overall in games decided by six points or less while improving to 3-1 overall in road games.
The win was also the 200th career victory for head coach Bob Marlin at Louisiana, despite the veteran coach remaining in Lafayette due COVID-19. Marlin, who improved to 200-147 overall, joined Beryl Shipley (1958-73) and J.C. “Dutch” Reinhardt as the only coaches in Ragin’ Cajuns Men’s Basketball history to win 200 or more games.
Louisiana clamped down on Texas State after holding the Bobcats to 23-for-64 (35.9 percent) from the floor overall and 0-for-11 from behind the 3-point line in the first half. The Ragin’ Cajuns led for the entire first half, taking a 19-11 lead on a basket by Isaiah Richards with 6:56 remaining in the first half before a 3-pointer by Devin Butts with 1:49 left gave Louisiana a 29-20 advantage.
Texas State (11-5, 5-2 Sun Belt), which had its five-game win streak snapped, scored the first seven points of the second half to knot the game at 31-31 with 19:03 remaining before buckets by Gueye, Russell and Mylik Wilson pushed the lead to 37-31.
A 3-pointer by Caleb Asberry and a pair of baskets by Mason Harrell gave Texas State its only lead of the game, 38-37, with 14:34 remaining before a jumper by Russell at the 12:41 mark put the Ragin’ Cajuns back on top.
After the Bobcats rallied to tie the game at 44-44 on a layup by Nate Martin with 7:22 remaining, Louisiana would go on an 8-1 run that began with a dunk by Theo Akwuba. Wilson and Russell would add a pair of free throws for the Ragin’ Cajuns and after Alonzo Sule made one of two free throws, Russell connected on a driving layup for a 52-45 lead with 4:19 left and the Bobcats would not get any closer until Harrell’s layup in the final seconds.
Russell, who finished 7-for-15 from the floor and reached the 20-point mark for the sixth time in 2020-21, increased his career scoring total to 1,244 points moving past Anthony Johnson (1,224) and Peyton Townsend (1,240) into 29th place on the school’s all-time list.
Gueye, who missed the previous two-game series with Texas State due to COVID-19 protocol, went 3-for-6 from the floor with a 3-pointer while going 4-for-6 from the free throw line. Akwuba and Wilson scored eight points each for Louisiana, which finished 21-for-46 (45.7 percent) from the floor including a 10-for-19 (52.6 percent) performance in the second half.
Harrell scored 14 points to lead Texas State with Sule adding 11. Shelby Adams grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for Texas State, which held a 41-33 advantage on the glass.
Both teams will wrap up the two-game series on Saturday at 4 p.m. start with the game available on ESPN+ and KPEL 96.5 FM. After facing Texas State, Louisiana will travel to face Arkansas State in a two-game series on Feb. 5-6 before returning home to host in-state foe ULM at the Cajundome on Feb. 11.
Season-ticket holders can download their tickets through mobile ticketing from Ticketmaster. Fans can download the #GeauxCajuns app to their smart phone to begin the process. Season-ticket holders who are unable to download tickets or wish to have printed can visit the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the Cajundome to have them printed.
For more information on Men's Basketball tickets, fans can call the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2170.
The Cajundome will operate at a significantly reduced capacity for the 2020-21 season (unless state COVID-19 policy changes during the season). This will allow for fans and University students to be accommodated this season. The Department of Athletics will quickly communicate any schedule adjustments or changes to attendance protocols through its social media channels and RaginCajuns.com.
In the interest of public safety and following the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) Best Practices Guide, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Department is implementing a clear bag policy at all venues that host ticketed events effective with the 2020-21 competition season. Information about the clear bag policy can be found by visiting www.RaginCajuns.com/clearbag.
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