Second half adjustments help Cajuns defeat Jaguars, 79-76

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MOBILE, Ala. – Jordan Brown scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out a career-high six assists and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Men’s Basketball team shot 64 percent from the floor in the second half to erase a 10-point deficit and earn a 79-76 win over South Alabama in a Sun Belt Conference game on Saturday at the Mitchell Center.

Greg Williams, Jr., scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half, including an insurance free throw with 5.5 seconds left as Louisiana (14-4, 4-2 Sun Belt) outscored South Alabama (8-10, 2-4 Sun Belt), 46-36, in the second half to claim its fourth straight victory and second straight on the road.

Joe Charles, who scored a career-high 15 points in Thursday’s 83-76 win at ULM, added 12 points on 6 of 7 aim from the floor with seven rebounds and was credited with the go-ahead bucket on a goal-tending call with 1:10 remaining to help the Ragin’ Cajuns, who shot 18-for-28 from the field in the final 20 minutes, earn the weekend sweep.

Louisiana led 25-20 on a Brown bucket with 5:39 left in the first half before South Alabama went on an 18-3 run to take a 38-28 lead. The Jaguars scored 11 straight points in the run fueled by back-to-back 3-pointers by Judah Brown before Owen White’s 3-pointer gave the Jaguars a 31-25 lead.

Williams stopped the run with a 3-pointer from the left wing before a 3-pointer by Brown and a pair of buckets by Isaiah Moore gave South Alabama a 38-28 lead in the final minute of the half.

A jumper by Moore, who led the Jaguars with 21 points, gave South Alabama a 44-37 lead with 17:37 remaining before Themus Fulks and Williams combined for the next nine points to give Louisiana the lead.

Brown, who finished 9-for-12 from the floor, erased a 69-68 deficit with a bucket with 2:57 left before a pair of free throws by Williams increased the lead to 72-69.

White tied the game with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to knot the contest at 72-all before the teams traded points.

After Charles’ go-ahead bucket gave Louisiana a 74-72 lead, the Ragin’ Cajuns forced a turnover on the Jaguars’ ensuing possession and Fulks would add an insurance bucket on a contested layup for a 78-74 cushion.

Holding a 78-76 lead, Louisiana would miss a pair of free throws with seven seconds remaining, but Williams would get the offensive rebound and was fouled, where he made the first of two and the Jaguars were unable to get a shot off at the buzzer.

Louisiana finished 31-for-54 (57.4 percent) from the floor and 6-for-14 (42.9 percent) from behind the 3-point line. The Ragin’ Cajuns held a 32-23 advantage on the glass, including seven on the offensive end.

Fulks scored nine points and handed out four assists for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Terence Lewis II adding six points and four rebounds.

Marshall Kearing added 15 points for South Alabama, which played without postman Kevin Samuel, with Brown scoring 12 – all from behind the 3-point line. White and Jamar Franklin scored 10 points each for the Jaguars, who finished 33-for-59 (55.9 percent) from the floor and 9 of 20 from long range.

Louisiana will close out its four-game road swing beginning on Thursday when it travels to face Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark. The Ragin’ Cajuns will then travel to face Texas State on Jan. 21 before returning home to host Troy (Jan. 26) and Georgia Southern (Jan. 28) at the Cajundome.

Single-game tickets for all Ragin’ Cajuns Men’s Basketball home games are available by visiting the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at the Cajundome, purchasing by visiting Account Manager, or calling the Louisiana Athletics Box Office at (337) 265-2104.

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