Akwuba leads Ragin’Cajuns to win at Georgia Southern
LAFAYETTE – Junior forward Theo Akwuba recorded a season-high 21 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks to lead Louisiana Men’s Basketball (13-13, 8-8 SBC) past Georgia Southern on Wednesday night in Hanner Arena.
The victory marked the third straight for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Akwuba’s performance gives him five double-doubles on the season. With the five blocks, the Montgomery, Ala. native totaled 170 in his career and surpassed Renigald Poole (1994-99) for third on the program’s all-time career blocks leaderboard.
Redshirt-freshman Kobe Julien continued his scoring streak with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Julien has totaled 15+ points in six consecutive games.
After tallying just eight over the three contests, freshman Kentrell Garnett broke out of his shooting slump with 14 points on 3-5 makes from beyond the arc.
Junior Jalen Dalcourt contributed eight points, two assists and two rebounds after consecutive season-high scoring performances last week.
Bolstered by 3-point shooting, Georgia Southern (11-15, 4-11 SBC) jumped out to a 15-3 lead in the opening five minutes.
Louisiana answered the early deficit with a 9-0 run that was capped off by a 3-point play from Dalcourt.
Trailing 18-12 with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half, the Ragin’ Cajuns guards spearheaded an 11-2 run that was bookended by five straight points from Garnett.
Akwuba and Garnett led Louisiana’s offense down the stretch in the first half, but a late 3-pointer by the Eagles gave the visitors a 35-34 advantage at the break.
The Ragin’ Cajuns quickly took control in the second half as the visitors scored the opening eight points as part of a greater 12-3 run. Julien contributed four during the spurt including the half’s first bucket.
Georgia Southern slowly chipped away at the double-digit lead and was able to cut the advantage to 49-47 with 11:49 remaining.
Led by Akwuba’s dominance in the paint, Louisiana controlled the remaining 10 minutes of the contest.
The Ragin’ Cajuns executed on both sides of the court and broke the game open with a 24-8 run. The pivotal stretch gave Louisiana a 73-55 lead with just over three minutes remaining.
Garnett and Julien each buried a pair of 3-pointers to accelerate the separation.
As a team, the Ragin’ Cajuns shot 55.6 (4-9) percent from deep in the second half.
Louisiana will close out the regular season at 6 p.m. Friday against Georgia State in Atlanta, Ga. The game will be available to be live-streamed on ESPN+.
For the latest on Louisiana Men’s Basketball, stay tuned to RaginCajuns.com and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (RaginCajunsMBB).