Men's Basketball: Bartley hits 1,000 points as UL notches win No. 26 + Recognition Student Athletes
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, March 1, 2018
It’s been a season chock-full of milestones reached and barriers broken for the UL basketball team.
Thursday night at the Cajundome offered more of the same.
For starters, the now 26-4 Ragin’ Cajuns set a school record for wins after their 85-74 victory over Arkansas State.
At 14-0 with one remaining, they remain undefeated at the Cajundome — the best home start in school history.
And at 16-1 now in Sun Belt Conference games, they upped their already best-ever count of single-season victories in SBC play since joining the league in 1991-92.
But what may have meant the most along with the 26 wins was watching senior shooting guard Frank Bartley IV, UL’s leading scorer this season, notch his 1,000th career point as a Cajun.
Bartley, a transfer from BYU, did it in less than two full seasons.
“To do it as a two-year player … like Frank’s done, is very impressive,” UL coach Bob Marlin said. “It’s hard to do.
“First of all you have to get the minutes to do it, and Frank stepped (straight) into a starting role last year.”
But Bartley scored just two in points in his first game for UL, a 2016 loss at Minnesota.
“I was worried a little bit about him,” Marlin said, “and then we went to Montana State (a few nights later) and I think he had 29 or so. Played great up in Bozeman, and he hasn’t stopped.”
Bartley — who went into the night averaging 17.4 points per game — finished with a team-high 18 Thursday, and hit 1,000 with a free throw that followed a layup with just less than five minutes left in the first half.
In doing so, he joined fellow seniors and close friends Bryce Washington and Johnathan Stove — both four-year Cajuns — in reaching 1,000 mark this season.
Foote column: Washington fitting leader of this team
“It’s an honor to score 1,000 points this season with two of my teammates,” Bartley said, “but that’s just a personal goal.
“When it’s all said and done, I can look back and say I had a good career at UL. … But that’s not the overall goal.
“The goal,” he added, “is to win a conference championship in New Orleans and get back to the NCAA Tournament, for myself, and get these guys introduced to the Tournament, because it’s a great feeling.”
Bartley went with the Cougars in 2015.
The last time UL had three players reach the milestone was in 2014, when current Phoenix Suns point guard Elfrid Payton, big man Shawn Long (who has played NBA games for the Philadelphia 76ers) and shooting guard Bryant Mbamalu all did — and the Cajuns went to the NCAA tourney.
“To get three in one year in the same class is really special,” Marlin said.
“It says a lot about the makeup of our team, and the way we share the ball and play together.”
AT THE HALF
UL led 48-36 after a first half in which it shot 56.3 percent from the field, including 5-for-8 — 62.5 percent — from 3-point range.
The Cajuns took the lead for good when Cedric Russell hit a 3-pointer with 7:16 to go in the half, then started to pull away.
Bartley had 11 of his 18 points at the break.
After spending a few minutes down on the floor, Stove walked gingerly off the court and straight to the locker room in Thursday’s first half.
Stove did, however, return to play four second-half minutes.
“He’s got a high ankle sprain,” Marlin said.
“No, he’s not OK,” the Cajuns coach added. “But he played. He’s a tough young man.”
Marlin said that after the injury that “the trainer said to play him; he needed to move.”
“Johnathan always wants to play,” Marlin added, “so you don’t have to ask him.”
Marlin also said big man Justin Miller, scoreless with no rebounds in four minutes Thursday, was bothered by his back, an injury he also dealt with last month.
UL plays host Saturday night to Troy, its final game of the regular season before heading to the Sun Belt tourney next week.
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Milestones Continue For Ragin' Cajuns In 85-74 Win Over A-State
Cajuns win school-record 26th game, Bartley reaches 1,000-point mark
LAFAYETTE – Another game. More team and individual milestones for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball team.