Cajuns fall short to Wyoming in Cayman Islands Classic, 70-61

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GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands – Frank Bartley scored a game-high 19 points with JaKeenan Gant adding 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds, but the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team was handcuffed by poor shooting in dropping a 70-61 decision to Wyoming in the semifinals of the 2017 Cayman Islands Classic on Tuesday at John Gray Gymnasium.

Louisiana (3-2), which had its three-game win streak snapped, will face either No. 12 Cincinnati or Richmond in the third-place game on Wednesday at 4 p.m. CST.

After posting an 80-71 win over Iowa in Monday’s first round, the Ragin’ Cajuns struggled from the floor against Wyoming (4-0), shooting 22-for-66 (33.3 percent) from the floor and 4-for-27 (14.8 percent) from behind the 3-point line. The Ragin’ Cajuns trailed 21-19 on a Bartley layup with 4:25 remaining before the Cowboys scored the next nine points to push their lead to 30-19.

Alan Herndon and Louis Adams combined for five free throws that gave Wyoming a 26-19 lead with 2:55 remaining in the half before Adams and Cody Kelley followed with driving layups to extend their lead with 1:49 left.

After Cedric Russell scored on a layup that halted the 9-0 run, the Cowboys added a 3-pointer by Alex Aka Gorski and a follow-up dunk by Andrew Moemeka for a 35-21 lead just before the half.

Wyoming took a 38-23 lead early in the second half on a 3-pointer by Nyaires Redding with 19:19 remaining before Louisiana chipped away at the lead with a 9-0 run.

Gant, who finished 6-for-10 from the floor, opened the spurt for Louisiana with a bucket and Bartley followed with three free throws to quickly close the gap to 38-28. Marcus Stroman followed with a jumper and Bryce Washington added a bucket that helped the Ragin’ Cajuns close the deficit to 38-32 with 16:41 remaining.

But the Cowboys responded with a 13-3 run that was capped by a dunk by Moemeka, giving Wyoming its largest lead of the game at 51-35 at the 13:44 mark.

Louisiana trailed 64-53 with 1:55 remaining and got as close as 66-61 after a 3-pointer by Malik Marquetti with 35 seconds left, but Gorski and Moemeka closed out the game with a pair of free throws.

Gorski led Wyoming with 16 points, including a 3-for-6 performance from behind the 3-point line. Adams added 14 points off the bench for the Cowboys, who held a 38-13 advantage in bench points while finishing 19-for-45 (42.2 percent) overall from the floor.

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