Eagles rally to eliminate Ragin’ Cajuns from Sun Belt Conference Tournament

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STATESBORO, Ga. – Isaiah Crawley’s reverse layup with 1:01 remaining put Georgia Southern ahead and a last-second attempt by freshman Mylik Wilson fell off the iron as the Eagles rallied to defeat Louisiana, 82-81, in the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Championships on Monday at Hanner Fieldhouse.

Quan Jackson scored 16 points to lead five players in double figures as fifth-seeded Georgia Southern (19-13) advanced to face arch-rival Georgia State on Wednesday in Atlanta. Calvin Wishart scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half with Crawley (14), Ike Smith (13) and Simeon Carter (12) all scoring in double figures.

No. 8-seeded Louisiana (14-19) led 74-64 after a Dou Gueye free throw with 6:44 remaining before missing four of its next five shots and committing three straight turnovers. The Eagles would use a 12-2 run that began with Jackson’s three-point play with 6:22 left and was capped by Jackson’s 3-pointer from the top of the key that tied the game at 76-all with 3:18 remaining.

Both teams traded buckets before Louisiana took its final lead of the game – 81-78 – on a 3-pointer by P.J. Hardy with 2:21 left.

Crawley, who finished 7-for-11 from the floor, scored the final two baskets for Georgia Southern, beginning with a layup with 1:49 remaining followed by his eventual game-winner.

An attempt with 31 seconds remaining by Louisiana’s Cedric Russell, who scored a game-high 23 points, fell short and Wishart grabbed the rebound and was eventually fouled. Wishart missed both attempts at the line and Gueye corralled his career-high 14th rebound to give the Ragin’ Cajuns one last attempt at the game-winner.

After a timeout, Louisiana worked the ball to Wilson and his 16-footer at the buzzer bounced on the rim before falling off.

Jalen Johnson scored 21 points for Louisiana, which went 33-for-69 from the floor and 10-for-31 from behind the 3-point line. Gueye added 13 points to record his second double-double of the season with Hardy, playing in his final game in a Louisiana uniform, scoring nine of his 11 after halftime.

Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsMBB), Facebook (RaginCajunsMBB) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsMBB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Men’s Basketball.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
2020 SUN BELT MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Quarterfinals at Campus Sites
Wednesday, March 11
Game 5 – No. 5 Georgia Southern at No. 4 Georgia State (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Game 6 – No. 6 Appalachian State at No. 3 Texas State (ESPN+), 7 p.m.

Semifinals at Smoothie King Center
Saturday, March 14
Game 7 – Game 5 Winner vs. No. 1 Little Rock (ESPN+), 11:30 a.m.
Game 8 – Game 6 Winner vs. No. 2 South Alabama (ESPN+), 2 p.m.

Championship Game at Smoothie King Center
Sunday, March 15
Game 9 – Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner (ESPN2), 1 p.m.

All Times are Central and Subject to Change

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