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Men's Basketball: Second-Half Surge Carries Louisiana Past Texas Southern, 84-73 - Shipley Honored
Bartley, Miller fuel 16-2 run in second half for fourth straight win
LAFAYETTE – Frank Bartley scored seven of his 18 points in a decisive 16-2 run midway through the second half and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball team won its fourth consecutive game of the season with an 84-73 win over Texas Southern on Sunday at Blackham Coliseum.
Bryce Washington and freshman Justin Miller each recorded double-doubles as Louisiana (4-2) overcame an early seven-point deficit in the first half to take a 43-42 lead at halftime. Jay Wright added 18 points for the Ragin' Cajuns, which shot 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) from the floor in the second half and a 21-11 advantage on the glass in the final 20 minutes.
"Well, we beat a good basketball team, a team has won four straight and will an opportunity to go to the NCAA Tournament like they have in the past," head coach Bob Marlin said. "They're a very good team that can shoot the basketball. They have great players in (Zach) Lofton and (Dulani) Robinson and (Derrick) Griffin is an outstanding athlete.
"They played hard and they had us on our heels in the first half. We were fortunate to come out in the second half and finally slowed them down a little bit defensively, and then we had a spurt where we busted the game open in the middle of the second half."
Bartley, the No. 2 scorer in the Sun Belt Conference entering the game, finished 6-for-12 from the floor and was 3-for-5 from behind the 3-point line. His bucket with 9:36 remaining gave Louisiana a 62-58 lead before later scoring five straight points that eventually gave the Ragin' Cajuns a 69-60 lead.
Miller, who scored 12 points and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds, gave Louisiana a 60-58 lead with a pair of free throws with 10:05 remaining and opened a 12-0 run by the Ragin' Cajuns when he added a bucket with 8:27 left after Texas Southern (4-2) had closed the gap to 62-60 on a bucket by Derrick Griffin.
Louisiana capitalized on a turnover by TSU's Dulani Robinson when Bartley connected on a long 3-pointer before the Baton Rouge native added a layup for a 69-60 lead with 7:18 remaining. A bucket by Miller with 6:21 remaining gave Louisiana a 71-60 advantage before freshman P.J. Hardy drained a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 74-60 lead at the 4:50 mark.
Texas Southern, which had won four straight after a season-opening loss at UTA, opened the game on a 7-2 run as Robinson drained a 3-pointer, before Lamont Walker and Zach Lofton each scored on putbacks. The Tigers scored six straight points after a Jay Wright bucket cut the Ragin' Cajuns deficit to 14-13 as Jamie Rutherford and Lofton each sank 3-pointers.
Louisiana trailed 32-26 with 5:22 remaining in the first half after a bucket by Walker, but went on a 13-5 run that was capped by a three-point play by Wright, giving the Ragin' Cajuns their first lead of the game, 39-37, with 2:29 remaining in the half.
The Ragin' Cajuns outshot Texas Southern, 54-44 percent in the second half and limited the Tigers to 2-for-9 aim from behind the 3-point line in the final 20 minutes after Texas Southern was 7-for-16 (43.8 percent) from long range in the first half.
Washington scored a team-high 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out four assists for Louisiana, which outscored Texas Southern, 41-31, in the second half. The junior finished 9-for-13 from the floor, 4-for-4 from the free throw line and added a pair of steals and a blocked shot in leading the Ragin' Cajuns.
Wright added 18 points and four assists for Louisiana, which has won four straight games in the month of November for the first time in school history. Hardy added six points off the bench for the Ragin' Cajuns with freshman Roydell Brown scoring six points, grabbing five rebounds and blocking a pair of shots in his second career start.
Lofton scored a game-high 24 points for Texas Southern, which finished 27-for-55 (49.1 percent) from the floor and 9-for-25 (36.0 percent) from behind the 3-point line. Robinson added 19 points and five assists for the Tigers with Griffin adding 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Louisiana will return to action on Thursday when it plays in-state foe Nicholls in the first game in the newly refurbished Cajundome. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m., and will follow the women's game between Louisiana and Xavier (N.O.) that starts at 5 p.m.
Next Game: Nicholls 12/1/2016 - 7:15 p.m.
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Athletic Network footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas:
Click here for the 2016 UL Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees.
The game against Texas Southern (4-2) marked the final regular-season contest for Louisiana in its former home before moving back to the newly refurbished Cajundome on Thursday against Nicholls.
Louisiana, which has worn retro uniforms during its games at Blackham Coliseum, auctioned off the uniforms after the game. The Ragin' Cajuns honor d several of its former players and coaches before the game, including the late Beryl Shipley, who was recently inducted into the UL Athletics Hall of Fame.
Click here for the game photo gallery of The Advertiser.