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FutureStarrLouisiana Advances to the Sun Belt Final
On Sunday, Louisiana advanced to the Sun Belt final with a victory over Texas State in the semifinals of their conference tournament. The Ragin' Cajuns (25-7) prevailed 64-58 over the Bobcats (19-10).
With this victory, UL earns its first trip to the Sun Belt championship game since 2013. They will face second-seeded Georgia Southern in Sunday's title matchup.
Louisiana used a 10-1 run in the second half to come back from a 14-point deficit and secure victory over Texas State. With two minutes and 38 seconds remaining in regulation time, Louisiana held a 58-54 lead over the Bobcats but they answered with nine points over four minutes to take command of the game.
After Texas State's Jordan Mason hit a three-pointer, Louisiana's lead was cut to two points. However, Brown hit a bank shot for an even score with 38.3 seconds left in regulation. Themus Fulks missed both his free throw attempts but Brown grabbed the rebound and made his own jumper to seal the victory.
In a thrilling win over the Bobcats, Louisiana junior Greg Williams Jr. was one of four scorers to reach double digits in scoring; Greg Williams Jr., Terence Lewis II and Kobe Julien also scored for the Ragin' Cajuns who improved to 7-3 on the season and are 2-1 against Sun Belt opponents. With this victory, Louisiana improved to 7-3 overall and is 2-1 against Sun Belt teams.
Over the past 10 games, Brown has averaged 18.7 points while shooting 57.4% from the floor. He is making 1.45 made 3-pointers per game for the Ragin' Cajuns and has emerged as a key offensive force in this year's conference.
On defense, Brown has recorded six blocked shots and seven steals in his last three games. Additionally, he added eight rebounds during that span.
Brown, a native of Plainsboro, N.J., is proud to be part of the West Windsor-Plainsboro HS North Class of 2019.
This season, the senior has been the most efficient shooter in the Sun Belt Conference, averaging 13.7 points, 2.7 assists and 1.2 rebounds while shooting 40.5% from three-point range. He also ranks third with 1.1 blocks per game - leading all scorers.
He is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Ragin' Cajuns, boasting four 20-point performances and three double-doubles this season.
After their victory against Texas State, Louisiana will play in the Sun Belt final on Sunday against James Madison. The Ragin Cajuns have won five of their last six games and are 5-2 in one-possession games this season.
Louisiana advanced to the Sun Belt final with a 64-58 victory against Texas State in Pensacola, Florida on Saturday afternoon. The Ragin' Cajuns (11-5, 2-0 SBC) used strong defense to hold the Bobcats to just 37.7% shooting, allowing them to hit at season high of 57 percent from the floor.
Early on, the Cajuns held a commanding lead of up to eight points thanks to Terence Lewis II's slam dunk and three-pointer. The Ragin' Cajuns extended their advantage to six before Nighael Ceaser tied it at 58-58 with 38.3 seconds left on a baseline layup from him.
On their second meeting, Louisiana took control of the game with two free throws from Jordan Brown with 2:23 remaining. Following a timeout, Texas State's Themus Fulks missed both his free throw attempts; however, he caught and made one rebound for an impressive 62-58 advantage for Louisiana.
Greg Williams Jr. led the Ragin' Cajuns with nine points and seven rebounds in the second half, making all six of his field goals to help the Cajuns pull away for a comfortable win.
With their win, Louisiana (19-4, 9-2 Sun Belt Conference) has now won 41 regular-season Sun Belt Conference games since joining the league in 1991-92. Furthermore, Louisiana has won 64 consecutive regular-season conference home games.
The Lady Toppers have an undefeated record in SBC East Division play and lead the conference in scoring with 75.3 points per game. Natalie Powers leads the team with 21.5 points per game while ShaRae Mansfield comes in third at 20.4 ppg.
Anthony Livingston is one of 17 players nationwide to average double-doubles this season, averaging 15.6 points and 100.0 rebounds per game. Additionally, he leads the country in three-pointers per game and free throws made.
A-State's next two games are against South Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette. If the Red Wolves defeat both teams, they could potentially secure a 7 or 8 seed in the SBC tournament.
On Saturday at the Mitchell Center, Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns rallied from a 10-point deficit to defeat Texas State Bobcats 79-76 and advance to the Sun Belt Conference final with a 79-76 victory. Jordan Brown led all scorers with 23 points while Terence Lewis II added 10 as Louisiana (14-4, 4-2 Sun Belt) shot 64 percent from the floor in the second half for their fourth straight win and second on the road.
Greg Williams Jr. scored 19 points and dished out a career-high six assists to help Louisiana (14-4, 4-2 Sun) erase a 10-point deficit with an incredible 46-36 second-half surge to take control of the game. Williams went 4-of-6 from 3-point range and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line for additional scoring chances.
He hit a pair of 3s to build an early double-digit lead, sending Louisiana into intermission with a 34-25 advantage. The team's strong defensive effort continued as Louisiana held the Bobcats to just 2-of-17 shooting from distance in the second half.
Williams was a standout performer on the glass, compiling five boards to go along with two assists and blocking two shots for his second consecutive double-double. On pace to become just the second player in program history to collect 65 rebounds during one season, he is sure to surpass that mark soon enough!
Williams was not only the team's top scorer, but he was just as effective on defense, holding Texas State to just 1-of-12 shooting in the second half and forcing three turnovers for his first defensive ace of the year. His eight steals were a team high in league play and he forced another key turnover with 2:26 remaining to ensure Louisiana's victory.
The Cajuns will now embark on a four-game road trip, beginning with ULM on Thursday and hosting South Alabama the following weekend before concluding their road swing at Arkansas State and Texas State.
Georgia State will host the tournament title game on Monday at Pensacola Bay Center. The Black and Gold have won nine Sun Belt Conference Tournament championships in 10 seasons and are the highest-seeded team ever to reach this point in conference play. At 18-10, they'll make their sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Louisiana (24-7, 5-2 SBC) advanced to the Sun Belt final for the fourth time in five years by defeating Texas State 90-78. Sophomore forward Jordan Brown had an outstanding game with six rebounds, while senior guard Terence Lewis II scored 10 points to lead the Ragin' Cajuns.
Since opening the season 0-6, UT (18-6, 5-1 SBC) has won eight straight games. Their all-time record in games where they score 100 or more points is 103-9 - including an impressive 68-1 mark at home.
Morris led the Longhorns with a career-high 25 points, shooting 9-for-11 from the field and 5-for-7 from 3-point range. Additionally, he dished out four assists and grabbed two rebounds.
He shot an impressive 3-for-3 from the foul line and made two free throws in the first half, extending his streak of making at least one foul-line basket to 14 games. Additionally, he grabbed two rebounds and recorded a steal late in the game.
On defense, ULM prevailed in a fierce battle that ended with only 49 points scored - their fewest point total allowed in any Sun Belt Conference game this season. Furthermore, they held Texas State to 32.7 percent shooting from the floor as part of an impressive defensive effort.
Chaunce Jenkins has been an invaluable player for the Chanticleers in the Sun Belt Conference. He started all 19 of their games and boasts an impressive statistical profile: leading the conference with 13.8 points per game, ranking top-10 among SBC three-point percentage shooters, assists per game leaders and free throw percentage leaders.
His performance against ULM was a welcome sight after missing the previous two games due to an injury. Before that setback, he had recorded double-doubles against Central Baptist and Dallas Christian before having to withdraw due to the injury.
The Warhawks boast a formidable core of playmakers, led by junior guard Savion Gallion and graduate forward Victor Bafutto, who has started all six games this season. Bafutto had an impressive opening weekend in Sun Belt Conference play with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Texas State on December 29. On Dec. 31, he added 13 points and nine rebounds against Arkansas State, giving him a season-to-date shooting percentage at the free-throw line of 94.2 percent.