Balanced effort carries Louisiana-Lafayette past Coastal Carolina, 81-64

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LAFAYETTE – Frank Bartley scored 22 points to lead four players in double figures and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team remained unbeaten in Sun Belt Conference play with an 81-64 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday at the Cajundome.

Malik Marquetti tied a career-high with 17 points as Louisiana (14-3, 4-0 SBC) won its 10th straight league game dating back to last season. Johnathan Stove came off the bench to score 16 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Bryce Washington scoring 11 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out six assists.

Louisiana led wire-to-wire, using a 20-7 run over the final 8:00 of the first half to take a 43-29 lead at halftime. Stove, who finished 4-for-6 from the floor with a career-best three 3-pointers, sank a pair of long-range jumpers with Bartley adding a free throw that gave Louisiana a 30-22 lead.

Bartley and Marquetti added a pair of 3-pointers during the first-half run for Louisiana with Marquetti burying his second long-range shot from the right corner just before the first-half buzzer.

A 3-pointer by Bartley with 12:47 remaining gave Louisiana its biggest lead of the night – 62-42 – before Coastal Carolina (7-9, 1-3 SBC) used a 15-5 run over the next 5:52 to chip away at the lead.

Zac Cuthbertson scored six of his game-high 23 points during the run for the Chanticleers, with his steal and dunk cutting the lead to 67-57 with 6:22 left.

A bucket by Washington at the 6:02 mark gave Louisiana a 69-57 lead and the Ragin’ Cajuns closed out the contest going 12-for-12 from the free throw line over the final 5:05 to seal the win.

Louisiana finished 21-for-50 (42.0 percent) from the floor and was 10-for-26 (38.5 percent) from behind the 3-point line. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished 29-for-33 (87.9 percent) from the free throw line, going 23-for-24 in the second half.

Marcus Stroman scored seven points and dished out six assists for Louisiana with Justin Miller scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds in his second start of the season. The Ragin’ Cajuns held a 38-28 advantage on the glass against the Chanticleers, who entered the game leading the Sun Belt Conference in rebound margin (+8.2).

Demario Beck scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Coastal Carolina, which dropped their third straight SBC contest after opening with a 90-65 win over preseason favorite UT Arlington on Dec. 29. Jaylen Shaw scored 13 points with five assists for the Chanticleers, who shot 22-for-55 (40.0 percent) from the floor.

Louisiana will return to action on Saturday (Jan. 13) when it entertains ULM in a 7 p.m. contest at the Cajundome.

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