Ragin’ Cajuns rally past Mustangs for OT win

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Ragin’ Cajuns rally from 10-point deficit; close out Mustangs with 7-0 run in OT

DALLAS – Jordan Brown scored four of his season-high tying 26 points in overtime and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns closed out the extra session with a 7-0 run to earn a gritty 76-72 win over SMU on Tuesday at Moody Coliseum.

Greg Williams, Jr., added 14 of his 19 points after intermission while Michael Thomas tied a career-high with six assists and hit a pair of insurance free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining as Louisiana (5-0) erased a 10-point deficit in the second half to equal its best five-game start since the 1989-90 season.

Brown went 11-for-23 from the floor and 4-for-8 from the free throw line to match his season high set on Nov. 7 against Centenary. The Preseason Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a 73-72 lead with a pair of free throws with 41.5 seconds left in overtime before being credited with a steal on a held ball on the ensuing possession by SMU (2-3).

Williams made one of two free throws for Louisiana before Joe Charles blocked Zhuric Phelps’ layup to preserve a 74-72 lead. The Mustangs would get another shot at extending the game after Efe Odigie rebounded Charles’ miss on a one-and-one, but Williams would block a driving layup by Phelps with Brown collecting the rebound and getting the ball out to Thomas.

Louisiana trailed 16-11 early in the first half before going on an 11-0 run to take a 22-16 lead. Williams opened the stretch for the Ragin’ Cajuns with a 3-pointer with Brown adding a pair of buckets along with baskets by Themus Fulks and Terence Lewis II.

SMU, which was 17-1 at home last season and 40-6 on its home floor since the 2019-20 season, led 34-30 at halftime before pushing its lead to 45-35 on a bucket by Odigie with 16:21 remaining.

The Ragin’ Cajuns would use a 16-6 run to knot the contest at 51-all with Jalen Dalcourt knocking down a 3-pointer with 8:51 remaining.

Charles ignited an 8-0 run for Louisiana late in regulation when he drained a 3-pointer to erase a 62-59 deficit with 2:41 left before buckets by Brown and Williams would give the Ragin’ Cajuns a 67-62 lead.

SMU would force overtime as Zach Nutall scored on a layup before Phelps’ three-point play with 24.5 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 67-all.

Phelps scored 21 points to lead four players in double figures for SMU. Odigie, the 2022 SBC Freshman of the Year last season at Troy, scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Mustangs with Nutall adding 13 points and Stefan Todorovic 11.

Louisiana, ranked No. 7 in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, will return to action on Saturday (Nov. 26) when it travels to face No. 3-ranked Drake in a 5 p.m. contest in Des Moines, Iowa. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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