LSUE holds off Delgado in conference hoops opener, 81-72

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EUNICE, La. – The backcourt duo of Jonathan Cisse and Isaiah Payne combined for 48 points as LSU Eunice grabbed an 81-72 victory over Delgado CC on Thursday inside the HPRE Center. The Bengals (3-0, 1-0 LCCAC) improved to 3-0 in conference openers all-time under head coach Byron Starks.

After a nearly three-week layoff between games, LSUE was slow out the gate trailing Delgado 24-15. Defense sparked a fast 10-0 in 1:24 to take its first lead of the game. The Bengals forced four consecutive turnovers with Cisse scoring eight of LSUE’s 10 points in that span, including two three-point baskets.

LSUE would force 19 turnovers on the night, turning that into 24 points.

The two teams would go back and forth for the remainder of the first half with Delgado sporting a 39-37 edge at intermission.

The Bengals would use another big run to the take the lead for good. A 13-2 spurt midway through the second half helped turn a five-point deficit into a six-point lead, 55-49. The Bengals would watch their lead grow to as many as 18 before a late surge got Delgado within a few baskets.

Payne stuffed the stat sheet with eight rebounds and three steals to go along with his game-high and career’s best 26 points. Cisse dropped 22 points with six assists.

John Kenoye produced nine rebounds to lead LSUE on the glass, while Joshua Davis (9 points) and Jaidon Lipscomb (8 points) each made their first starts of the season.

Former LSUE Bengal Brandon Davis led Delgado on the night in his return to the Cajun Prairie. The New Orleans area native pumped in 21 points.

The Bengals game on Saturday with Southern-Shreveport has been postponed due to poor weather conditions still in the Shreveport area. LSUE will hit the road on Wednesday, February 24 to face Baton Rouge CC.

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