Cajuns Advance To Sun Belt Semis

Cajuns Advance To Sun Belt Semis

NEW ORLEANS – Shawn Long recorded his 33rd career double-double in 64 games with 19 points and 17 rebounds as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns advanced to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a 91-85 win over UT Arlington on Friday at Lakefront Arena.

Louisiana (21-11), seeded No. 3 in the eight-team field, will face second-seeded WKU (20-11) in a 4:30 p.m. semifinal game. The game will be televised on the Sun Belt Network and can be heard in the Lafayette area on Hot 107.9 FM.

Xavian Rimmer scored a season-high 24 points for the Ragin' Cajuns with Bryant Mbamalu adding 20. The Ragin' Cajuns finished 30-for-64 from the floor (46.9 percent), but sank a season-high tying 12 3-pointers in 21 attempts (57.1 percent) in earning its third victory this season over newcomer UTA (15-17).

The Cajuns scored seven straight points to break an 8-8 tie as Mbamalu hit one of two free throws before Elridge Moore, Mbamalu and all scored on short jumpers. After a layup by Lonnie McClanahan cut the lead to 17-13, the Cajuns scored eight straight points as Steven Wronkoski hit a pair of free throws before combining with Rimmer on 3-pointers on the next two possessions for a 25-13 lead with 11:15 left.

The Mavericks cut the lead to 40-39 when Jamal Outler scored on a driving layup, but Wronkoski and Rimmer sandwiched 3-pointers around a bucket by Reger Dowell for a 46-41 lead at halftime.

Wronkoski began a 6-0 run for the Ragin' Cajuns when he sank one of two free throws before Long hit a pair from the charity stripe and Mbamalu drained a 3-pointer that gave Louisiana its biggest lead of the game, 65-51.

The Mavs got as close as 67-63 when Dowell hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining, but Rimmer sealed the win for the Ragin' Cajuns when he made four free throws down the stretch.

Outler came off the bench to score 26 points to lead UTA while Dowell added 22. Brandon Edwards notched a double-double for the Mavs with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

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