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Men's Basketball: First-Half Runs Carry Louisiana Past Detroit Mercy, 81-62 - Face IC-Irvine on Tu
Ragin' Cajuns to face UC Irvine for Middleweight Bracket title on Tuesday
vs. UC Irvine
11/26/2019 | 1 p.m. PT
LAS VEGAS – Jalen Johnson scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures and the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Men's Basketball team capitalized on a pair of first-half runs to earn an 81-62 victory over Detroit Mercy in the MGM Resorts Main Event on Monday at Clark High School.
Cedric Russell added 16 points for Louisiana (4-2), which will face UC Irvine (3-4) on Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT. Tirus Smith came off the bench for Louisiana to score 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor with freshman Mylik Wilson adding 10 points.
Louisiana trailed 6-0 early in the contest after four free throws by Antoine Davis and a bucket by Chris Brandon before responding with a 14-1 run to take the lead for good.
Russell and Kobe Julien drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions before Smith's first bucket of the game gave Louisiana the lead for good, 8-7. The Ragin' Cajuns added buckets from Julien, Johnson and Russell to take a 14-7 lead with 13:24 remaining in the first half before Detroit Mercy (1-4) fought back to knot the game at 14-all on a bucket by Boe Nguidjol.
After Davis tied the game at 18-18 with a pair of free throws with 7:32 remaining in the first half, Louisiana went on a 16-4 run to build a double-digit lead.
Smith, playing his second game for the Ragin' Cajuns, snapped the tie with a pair of buckets before Wilson converted on a jumper in the lane after the Titans closed to 22-20 after two free throws by Jordan Gorman at the 4:44 mark.
Johnson and P.J. Hardy added free throws to extend Louisiana's lead before Wilson buried a 3-pointer from the right corner to give the Ragin' Cajuns a 31-20 lead.
Davis, who scored a game-high 30 points and went 12-for-12 from the free throw line, cut the deficit to 31-22 with a jumper at the 1:48 mark of the first half, but Louisiana would get a free throw from Kristian Lafayette and a dunk by Smith to lead 34-24 at the break.
Detroit Mercy, which sank 15 3-pointers in an 86-74 win over UC Irvine on Sunday, got a pair of 3-pointers by Davis and a 3-pointer by Willy Isiani to get as close as 41-33 with 17:36 remaining in the game, but a pair of buckets by Dou Gueye would push Louisiana's lead back to double-digits.
Gueye flirted with a double-double, scoring nine points and finishing with a game-high 11 rebounds. Dwayne Rose, Jr., scored eight points off the bench for Detroit Mercy while Davis was held to 7-for-20 from the floor and 4-for-13 from behind the 3-point line.
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