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Basketball: Top Blackham Moments

Basketball: Top Blackham Moments

Basketball: Top Blackham Moments

Bruce Brown

They are too numerous to list, as one would expect from 35 years of basketball competition in one arena, but the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun men and women etched some indelible memories for fans from 1950 to 1985.
Cajun women actually played in Blackham longer, finally departing in 1992 after featuring a national scoring champion of their own.

What follows is a list of some – certainly not all – of the special memories the Cajuns provided in Blackham.

Cajuns 107, UL Monroe 104, OT
Feb. 25, 1971 – Dwight "Bo" Lamar was on the way to the first of his two national scoring titles, and this game had a lot to do with it as the sophomore guard poured in a school-record 62 points, including 55 in regulation.

Southeastern Louisiana 101, Cajun Women 99, OT

Feb. 5, 1990 – Kim Perrot, the greatest women’s player in Cajun history, shredded SLU with 58 points, hitting 20-of-40 shots from the field, en route to leading the nation in scoring with 30 points per game.

Cajuns 97, Santa Clara 76

March 22, 1984 – Louisiana reached the NIT Final Four with this quarterfinal victory over road-weary Santa Clara. Graylin Warner and teammates performed a high-kick dance line to "New York, New York" at game’s end.

Cajuns 74, Weber State 72

March 19, 1984 – This was the game that provided the momentum for beating Santa Clara two nights later, a memorable nail-biter to go with a two-point victory at Utah State to begin the NIT.

Cajuns 74, Alabama-Birmingham 72

March 6, 1980 – Dion Rainey nailed a game-winning jumper from deep in the corner, almost falling out of bounds, as the Cajuns stunned the Gene Bartow-coached Blazers of UAB in NIT action. UL then beat Texas on the road before losing at Minnesota in the quarterfinals.

Cajuns 92, Auburn 75

Dec. 22, 1979 – Before Southern and Grambling called their football series the Bayou Classic, it was an annual December basketball event in Blackham hosted by UL. In the 1979 Classic finals, covered by Sports Illustrated, senior Andrew Toney was too much for the Tigers’ defense, exploding for 34 of his 46 points after halftime.

Cajuns 71, Athens State 58

Cajuns 78, Huntington 69

March 2-3, 1965 – Beryl Shipley’s eighth team at UL was the first to reach the national stage. The wins over Athens State and Huntington earned the Cajuns the NAIA District 27 Tournament crown in a 20-win campaign that ended in the NAIA nationals.

Cajuns 104, Oral Roberts 89

Cajuns 82, Samford 63

Feb. 23, 1973; Dec. 2, 1975 – The victory over ORU was the final home game in Blackham for the Ragin’ Cajuns before the 1973 NCAA Tournament, and the final one before NCAA probation ended the program for two years. Defeating Samford marked the Cajuns’ return to the home court after the probation was ended.

Cajuns 113, LSUNO 107

March 2, 1971 – The 1971 Cajuns hosted the NCAA College Division South Regional game against a Privateers team whose name at the time was still attached to LSU. Since that first-ever meeting, the UNO Privateers have become possibly the most fierce UL rival in basketball.

Cajuns 94, Louisiana Tech 83

Feb. 17, 1973 – Tech and UL first played basketball in the 1916-17 season, and the north-south rivals have staged some classics over the years. Few will match this 1973 entry, when Tech star Mike Green missed a crucial late free throw, Bo Lamar made his, and the Cajuns survived a thriller.

Cajuns 90, Long Beach State 83

Dec. 11, 1971 – High school teammates Bo Lamar and Ed Ratleff had the chance to meet on the court in the Bayou Classic finals, and Lamar’s Cajuns emerged victorious. Ratleff had been the more highly-recruited out of high school, but the smallish Lamar finished with 3,493 points in college play.

Cajuns 97, Lamar 81

Feb. 23, 1981 – UL and Tech have always been rivals. UL and UNO have become fierce foes. During the Blackham years, though, it was hard to match the animosity felt toward Lamar. One year after Andrew Toney left for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, Lafayette product Kevin Figaro led a 16-point destruction of the Cardinals.

Cajuns 83, McNeese State 69

Feb. 14, 1977 – Andrew Toney and Cordy Glenn led a resurgence of Cajun basketball, and this win over John Rudd and the Cowboys was a critical one in a march to UL’s first Southland Conference crown.

Cajuns 81, Texas-Arlington 75

March 6, 1982 – This game had plenty of drama. The Cajuns were on the verge of leading the Southland Conference over the Division 1-AA football question, and were hosting the SLC Tournament. By defeating the Movin’ Mavs in the finals, UL said goodbye to the SLC and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1973.

Cajuns 65, Florida 64

March 14, 1985 – One year after reaching the NIT Final Four, the Cajuns were once again hosting an NIT game. Gators star Andrew Moten missed a layup at game’s end and UL won its final game in Blackham before leaving for the Cajundome.

Originally published December 2, 2005