The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns return home for the first time in the new year, beginning the nine-game…
First Half Run Carries Cajuns 90-70 Win
UTA (6-10, 1-3 Sun Belt) opened the game with a fast break dunk by Brandon Edwards, and led 8-7 after a jumper by Jamal Outler at the 17:01 mark before the Cajuns shifted gears scoring the game's next 14 points. Shepherd opened the run for the Cajuns with a 3-pointer and was followed by a putback by Long added a bucket before back-to-back 3-pointers by Kevin Brown and Shepherd gave Louisiana an 18-8 lead.
Long, who finished 8-for-17 from the floor and added nine rebounds with a career-high seven blocks, added a three-point play and a layup before Payton capped the run with a free throw that gave the Cajuns a 24-10 lead with 11:23 remaining in the first half.
Louisiana led at halftime, 45-27, and used an 11-2 run early in the second half to build a 60-34 cushion against the league's second-highest scoring team (80.1 ppg.). Long converted a three-point play at the 17:19 mark to open the spurt, with Rimmer adding a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer and Bryant Mbamalu capping the run with a 3-pointer from the left wing with 15:12 remaining.
The Cajuns took their biggest lead – 71-44 – when Shepherd sank a pair of free throws with 9:28 remaining before UTA began to chip away at the lead.
UTA, which was led by Lonnie McClanahan's season-high 27 points, got as close as 85-70 when McClanahan sank a pair of free throws with 2:08 left before the Cajuns scored the game's final five points on a bucket by Shepherd and a three-point play by Vieux Kande.
Louisiana finished 25-for-55 (45.5 percent) from the floor in the game, including going 12-for-24 in the second half. The Cajuns finished 9-for-22 from the behind the 3-point line and scored 21 points off 15 UTA turnovers.
Edwards added 10 points for the Mavs, who were held to 24-for-61 (39.3 percent) from the floor and 5-for-20 from long range.
The Cajuns will return to action on Monday when it plays host to Texas State in a game that will be televised by the Sun Belt Network. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Cajundome Ticket Office at (337) 265-2100 or on-line at www.RaginCajuns.com.
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