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Men's Basketball: Ragin' Cajuns Fall To Cuban National Team, 76-71

Justin Miller 

HAVANA – Johnathan Stove scored 17 points to lead three players in double figures, but the Cuban National Team rallied from a 12-point deficit to claim a 76-71 victory over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns on Tuesday at Sala Paliavante.
 
Frank Bartley scored 14 points for Louisiana, playing the first of three games in Havana against the Cuban National Team, with Jerekius Davis scoring 10. Javier Justiz scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as the more experienced Cuban National Team rallied from a 39-27 halftime deficit to tie the game at 54-54 after the third period.
 
Jasiel Rivero scored 19 points for Cuba with Yuniskel Molina adding 12 points and Yoanki Mencia 10.
 
Louisiana led 11-10 in the first quarter before two free throws by Stove opened an 18-4 run for the Ragin' Cajuns. Davis scored eight straight points for Louisiana in the second quarter as the Ragin' Cajuns with Bartley adding six points in the quarter and JaKeenan Gant scoring four of his seven in the game.
 
The Cubans took their first lead of the game on a bucket by Justiz with 2:52 remaining in the third quarter before Molina and Karel Guzman opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 60-54 lead.
 
Justiz added another bucket in the fourth quarter that gave Cuba a 73-65 lead, but Louisiana answered with back-to-back 3-pointers by Gant and Stove to close the gap in the final two minutes.
 
Both teams will return to action on Wednesday for the second of three games at 10 a.m. EST.



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