Brown, Fulks post double-doubles in 80-71 win at A-State

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JONESBORO, Ark. – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns opened the game with a 19-6 run and never trailed in defeating Arkansas State, 80-71, in a Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball game on Thursday at First National Bank Arena.

Jordan Brown and Themus Fulks each posted double-doubles for Louisiana (15-4, 5-2 Sun Belt), playing its 12th of 19 games away from home.

The Cajuns won their fifth straight game to remain in a tie for first-place with Marshall, Southern Miss and ULM in the SBC standings. The win for the Ragin’ Cajuns also snapped a four-game losing streak to Arkansas State (9-11, 1-6 Sun Belt) in games played in Jonesboro as Louisiana claimed its first win on the FNB Arena floor since a 90-87 overtime decision on March 9, 2019.

Brown, who recorded his third, 30-point game of his career and matched his career-high against an SBC opponent, scored 31 points on 12 of 20 aim from the floor while grabbing a season-high tying 13 rebounds.

The forward scored six points of his 20 first-half points during Louisiana’s opening run which was capped by a fastbreak dunk for a 19-6 lead with 14:51 remaining in the first half.

Fulks, the SBC leader in assists, scored 13 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed six rebounds as Louisiana finished 29-for-56 (51.8 percent) from the floor and eclipsing the 50-percent mark in a game for the 10th time in the 2022-23 season.

Both teams traded buckets in the opening minute before Louisiana scored eight straight points in a 13-2 run to take the lead for good.

Greg Williams, Jr., opened the spurt with a 3-pointer before Fulks added a layup and Kentrell Garnett hit the first of four 3-pointers on the night to give Louisiana a 10-2 lead. After a pair of ASU free throws, Brown sank a pair of free throws before Garnett would drill a 3-pointer – the 100th of his career to give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 15-4 lead at the 15:48 mark.

Arkansas State would chip away at the lead, getting as close as 29-24 on Malcolm Farrington’s 3-pointer with 8:24 left in the first half, but Williams would start a 10-3 run for Louisiana with a three-point play that would help push the lead up to 39-27.

The Ragin’ Cajuns would answer an early second-half barrage after back-to-back 3-pointers by Terrance Ford, Jr., close Arkansas State to within 43-38 with 18:40 remaining as Brown’s three-point play opened a 14-2 run and give Louisiana a 57-40 lead.

Garnett finished with 12 points, all from behind the 3-point line, as Louisiana was 8-for-15 from behind the 3-point line. Williams chipped in with nine points for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Terence Lewis II adding eight points and six rebounds.

Ford led A-State with 14 points with Farrington and Caleb Fields scoring 13 points each. Omar El-Sheikh scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Red Wolves, who were 24-for-57 from the floor but was aided by a season-high 11 3-pointers.

Louisiana will cap its four-game road trip – and stretch of eight games on the road in a 10-game span – on Saturday when it visits Texas State in a 4 p.m. contest in San Marcos, Texas. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ and can be heard on KPEL-FM (96.5) and on the Varsity Network app.

Single-game tickets are available by visiting the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome, purchasing by visiting Account Manager. For more information call the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome at (337) 265-2104.

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