LAS VEGAS – Cedric Russell scored 19 of his game-high 26 points in the second half while newcomer Theo Akwuba scored a career-high 22 points in his Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns debut, but No. 1-ranked Baylor capitalized on 15 3-pointers and steady defense to claim a 112-82 win in the #VegasBubble on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.
MaCio Teague scored 21 points to lead five players in double figures while Davion Mitchell added 18 as Baylor (1-0) made 15 of 27 attempts from behind the 3-point line in claiming its season-opener. Brayan Au scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half for Louisiana (0-1), which was facing a top-ranked team for the first time in school history.
Louisiana opened the game with Mylik Wilson scoring the first four points before Baylor (No. 1 Coaches Poll, No. 2 Associated Press) used a 10-0 run to take the lead for good. The Ragin’ Cajuns trailed 21-16 at the 10:04 mark before Russell and Akwuba each sank a pair of free throws after a technical foul on Baylor’s Mark Vital.
Both teams traded buckets before a dunk by Baylor’s Matthew Mayer started a 15-0 run over the next 4:52 that pushed the Bears’ lead to 38-22.
Preseason All-American and Reserve, La., native Jared Butler scored 17 points with three 3-pointers for Baylor, which finished 45-for-80 from the floor and held a 41-29 advantage on the glass. Freshman LJ Cryer scored 17 points off the bench for the Bears with Adam Flagler adding 12.
Akwuba went 9-for-9 from the floor for Louisiana, including burying a second-half 3-pointer on his first-ever attempt. The 6-foot-11 transfer pulled down eight rebounds and blocked a pair of shots in his Ragin’ Cajuns debut.
Russell finished 10-for-17 from the field in recording his 10th career 20-point game for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Wilson adding eight points and two steals with Dou Gueye chipping in with six points and a team-high three assists.
Louisiana shot 53 percent from the floor against the Bears converting on 32 of 61 attempts from the floor while going 12-for-16 from the free throw line. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished 6-for-19 from the behind the 3-point line after opening the game 2-for-10 in the first 20 minutes.
Louisiana is scheduled to return to action on Wednesday when it travels to face New Orleans in a 7 p.m. contest at Lakefront Arena before tentatively opening its 2020-21 home schedule on Tuesday, Dec. 8 against LSU Alexandria.
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.
Getting tickets for Ragin’ Cajuns Men’s Basketball is available through mobile ticketing from Ticketmaster. Download the #GeauxCajuns app on your smart phone to begin the process.
For more information on Men’s Basketball tickets, fans can call the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2170.
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