Stove’s career-best helps Cajuns take 102-91 win at Georgia Southern
STATESBORO, Ga. – Johnathan Stove came off the bench to score a career-high 28 points while becoming the 46th player in Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point mark as the Ragin’ Cajuns rebounded from its first SBC loss of the season with a 102-91 win over Georgia Southern on Saturday at Hanner Fieldhouse.
Frank Bartley recorded his eighth 20-point game of the season for Louisiana (21-4, 11-1 SBC), scoring 21 points with three 3-pointers. Bryce Washington scored 18 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor with Malik Marquetti scoring 13.
Stove, whose previous career-high (23) came at Nicholls State earlier this season, scored 10 points in the first half as Louisiana closed out with a 16-2 run after a free throw by David-Lee Jones, Jr., tied the contest at 36-all with 4:56 remaining.
A pair of free throws by JaKeenan Gant with 4:54 left in the half opened a string of 13 straight points by Louisiana before a bucket by Bartley gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a 40-36 lead. Gant, who battled early foul trouble and finished with eight points, connected on a bucket with 3:24 remaining in the half before two free throws and a bucket by Washington pushed the Cajuns’ lead to 46-36.
Louisiana took a 49-36 advantage on a 3-pointer by Cedric Russell before Marquetti would answer a Georgia Southern (16-10, 7-6 SBC) bucket with a 3-pointer just before the first half buzzer for a 52-38 lead.
Georgia Southern closed the gap to 57-48 when Coye Simmons converted on a three-point play with 16:42 remaining, but Louisiana would score the next 11 points to extend its lead to 20. Bartley drained a 3-pointer for the Ragin’ Cajuns for a 60-48 lead before dunks by Washington and Gant, a bucket by Bartley and dunk by Gant giving Louisiana a 68-48 lead with 12:22 left.
The Ragin’ Cajuns took their biggest lead of the game, 77-56, when Bartley buried his third 3-pointer of the afternoon at the 8:38 mark.
Coming off a game in which it was the short end of its largest rebound margin (-10) of the season, Louisiana pounded the boards against Georgia Southern, producing a 52-28 advantage on the glass. Washington, who grabbed his 1,000th career rebound on Thursday at Georgia State, hauled down a game-high 13 boards to record his 10th double-double of the season and 35th of his career. Gant hauled down eight for Louisiana, Stove grabbed seven and Justin Miller six.
Tookie Brown scored all 29 of his points in the second half for Georgia Southern with Ike Smith scoring 25. Montae Glenn pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Eagles.
Louisiana will return to action on Thursday when it plays host to Texas State in a 7:15 p.m. contest at the Cajundome.
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