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Men’s Basketball: Hot-Shooting Chanticleers Pull Away From Ragin’ Cajuns, 96-79

Louisiana returns home to host Georgia Southern, Georgia State beginning Wednesday 

CONWAY, S.C. – Zac Cuthbertson scored 24 points to lead five players in double figures and Coastal Carolina shot 58 percent from the floor, including 13 3-pointers, to pull away and defeat the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 96-79, in a Sun Belt Conference game on Saturday at the HTC Center.
Freshman Ebrima Dibba posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists while DeVante Jones added 16 points as Coastal Carolina (12-9, 6-3 SBC) won its fifth straight game overall and its first against Louisiana (13-9, 4-5 SBC) in four contests.
The Chanticleers finished 33-for-57 (58 percent) from the floor, including a 13-for-23 performance from behind the 3-point line. Tyrell Gumbs-Frater came off the bench to score 15 points, all from behind the 3-point line, while Tommy Burton added 13 points.
The Chanticleers opened the game on a 10-2 run as Jones and Cuthbertson each sank 3-pointers during the spurt. The Ragin’ Cajuns chipped away at the lead, cutting the gap to 14-12, on a bucket by Cedric Russell with 12:59 remaining before eventually taking their only lead of the game – 34-33 – on Jeremy Hayes’ dunk at the 3:10 mark.
After Marcus Stroman’s layup gave Louisiana a 38-37 lead with 1:32 remaining in the first half, CCU went on a 7-0 run with Dibba scored a pair of buckets and Cuthbertson converting a three-point play.
Louisiana, which trailed by as many as eight points in the first half and 44-38 at the break, closed the gap to 59-57 after a pair of free throws by P.J. Hardy with 13:27 remaining. The Chanticleers responded with back-to-back 3-pointers by Gumbs-Frater and Dibba to push their lead to 65-57 while not letting the Ragin’ Cajuns closer than six the rest of the way.
Cuthbertson, who finished 6-for-10 from the floor, 3-for-5 from behind the 3-point line and 9-for-11 from the charity stripe, gave Coastal Carolina its biggest lead of the game – 96-78 – with a 3-pointer with 1:40 remaining.
JaKeenan Gant led Louisiana with a game-high 27 points and 12 rebounds, recording his Sun Belt-leading 10th double-double of the year. Jerekius Davis scored all 12 of his points in the first half for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Stroman adding 11.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were held to 29-for-68 (43 percent) from the floor, including 7-for-28 (25 percent) from behind the 3-point line and 14-for-22 (64 percent) from the free throw line.
Louisiana will return to action on Wednesday (Feb. 6) when it plays host to Georgia Southern in a 7 p.m. contest at the Cajundome. The Ragin’ Cajuns will continue their three-game homestand on Friday (Feb. 8) in a nationally-televised contest against Georgia State. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m., and will be televised on ESPN2.
• Season tickets, beginning at $100, are available online at RaginCajuns.com using Account Manager, or by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2357.
• All current UL faculty and staff, along with recent graduates (within the last five years), can purchase season tickets at a 50-percent discount to cheer on the Ragin’ Cajuns during the 2018-19 season at the Cajundome.
• The special package will allow recent graduates of Louisiana to purchase tickets in sections 101-103. Discounts will be applied upon confirmation of graduate status by the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office.
• The game against Southern is part of the "Louisiana Passport," which will recognize Ragin’ Cajuns fans who attend all eight of Louisiana’s scheduled games against in-state opponents during the 2018-19 season.
• Each game, beginning with the Ragin’ Cajuns Nov. 28 game at New Orleans, fans will get their passport stamped at a location to be determined. In-state games for the Ragin’ Cajuns include home games against Southern (Dec. 1), Loyola (Dec. 5), Louisiana Tech (Dec. 15) and ULM (Feb. 16), with additional road games slated against McNeese State (Dec. 18), Southeastern Louisiana (Dec. 29) and ULM (Jan. 19).
• At Louisiana’s game against ULM at the Cajundome on Feb. 16, those who have a completed passport with eight stamps will be recognized on the court at some point during the game.
• For more information on tickets, contact the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at (337) 265-2357. For information concerning parking, contact the RCAF at (337) 851-2903.
• Help Louisiana Athletics continue to give back! After a successful start during the 2018 football season, the Cajuns Care program will allow Ragin’ Cajuns fans the opportunity to purchase Louisiana men’s basketball season tickets for $20.
• Tickets purchased through the Cajuns Care program will be donated to local charitable and philanthropic initiatives, including Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana, the United Way and area military servicemen and servicewomen.
• Fans and supporters of Louisiana men’s basketball can find the option to purchase Cajuns Care season tickets online, by calling the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office at the Cajundome (337-265-2357) or visiting in-person.
Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsMBB), Facebook (RaginCajunsMBB) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsMBB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Men’s Basketball.