Men's Basketball: Marlin's Cajuns shoot bombs away in win over UTA + photo gallery
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Feb. 18, 2018
And on UL’s fourth time with the ball, Stroman scored three the old-fashioned way — driving the lane for two, and hitting the free throw that followed.
They set the tone for a 100-79 UL win over Texas-Arlington on Saturday night at the Cajundome that ended, rather fittingly, with a Mason Aucoin 3-pointer from the left corner that gave the Cajuns’ their first triple-digit home game since mid-November against Savannah State.
The Cajuns finished 14-for-34 from behind the long-distance line, one off their school record for made 3s — reached three times, the last time in 2009 against Troy — while outscoring the Mavericks by 21 points on treys.
“That was basically the difference in the game,” said UL coach Bob Marlin, whose club improved to 22-4 overall, 12-1 in Sun Belt Conference play and 13-0 at home.
“We wanted to stretch ’em. … We still wanted to play inside-out,” Marlin added, “and we didn’t do a great job of that at times. But (we) shot the ball well.”
Bartley finished with a team-high 25 points, including 4-for-9 shooting from behind the arc, for the Cajuns, who led by as many as 29 points with just less than 12 minutes to go and finished 50 percent from the field.
“The guy that was defending me, he was playing kind of off, so that was an easy look for me,” said Bartley, UL’s scoring leader this season too.
“And I’m confident in my shot,” he added, “so I just stepped and jumped up and made the shots.”
Bartley didn’t just limit himself to long range, however, as the 6-foot-3 senior also delivered a couple of rare dunks, including one over Kevin Hervey, UTA’s 6-9 NBA-caliber senior.
That raised some eyebrows, even if Bartley had to defend himself afterward.
“My teammates know I can (dunk),” he said.
“I haven’t seen it since high school," joked Cajun senior Johnathan Stove, who also played with Bartley at Christian Life Academy in Baton Rouge.
That the Cajuns came out firing, meanwhile, wasn’t just a matter of mere opportunity.
Rather, it was somewhat by design against the 16-11 Mavs.
“Last time we played them (a 77-65 win in January) they played with more energy than us, and it showed,” Bartley said. “They got a big lead … and we had to regroup.
“We wanted to be the imposers this time, and I think we were the aggressors tonight.”
True freshman guard Cedric Russell also got in on the bombs-away act, making four of his six 3-point attempts.
Several Cajuns benefited from that.
“It opened up … drives for Frank (Bartley), it opened up drives for Stove — even for (big man) Bryce (Washington),” Russell said.
Stove, for one, loved seeing it from the freshman.
That’s because it’s something that could boost the Cajuns, who have hopes NCAA Tournament bid dancing in their heads with four regular-season games remaining, and, eventually, the Sun Belt Tournament in New Orleans.
Russell started the night shooting 43 percent on an even 100 attempts from 3-point range, and his teammates welcome many more.
“We get mad when he doesn’t shoot,” Stove said.
UL led 47-33 after a first half in which it beat UTA 25-18 on the boards.
Bartley had 14 of his 25 points at the break.
BY THE NUMBERS
UL’s 13-0 Cajundome record this season ties its school record for best start at home. … Four other Cajuns besides Bartley finished in double figures: Stove (14), Russell and JaKeenan Gant (12 each), and Justin Miller (10). … Bartley wound up six points shy of tying his career high. … Washington pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. … Erick Neal and Hervey led UTA with 26 and 21, respectively.
IN THE HOUSE
Ex-Cajun Shawn Long was at the Cajundome, and ex-UL point guard Jay Wright was back for a second straight game.
Both currently play in the G-League, which is on its All-Star break.
Wright is a rookie with the Lakeland Magic.
Long plays for the Delaware 76ers. He appeared in 18 NBA games last season for the Philadelphia 76ers, and earlier this season, before returning to the G-League, he played in China Xinjiang Flying Tigers as a short-term replacement for the injured Andray Blatche.
Also in the house Saturday: Former Cajuns radio voice Ron Gomez.
Miller, limited by a sore back to one minute in Thursday night’s win over Texas State, played 12 minutes Saturday and had six rebounds along with his 10 points.
UL visits Troy on Thursday night and South Alabama on Saturday night.