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Cajuns Dominate In Sun Belt Opener
This story originally published on
Cajun Redzone Beat Writer
Posted Dec 31, 2011
LAFAYETTE -- Louisiana opened with a 14-0 run and cruised to a 67-55 victory over Florida Atlantic to open Sun Belt Conference play on New Year’s Eve at the Cajundome Saturday.
Louisiana (7-8, 1-0) never trailed in the contest, and while
(4-10, 0-1) did cut the lead to five at one point, the Owls never truly threatened the home team in the conference opener for both squads.
“We got off to a good start,” said Louisiana coach Bob Marlin, who credited the Cajuns good perimeter defense and transition game, as well as the steady presence of
who gave needed breaks to the Cajun starters.
“Bryant Mbamalu and
were both expending a lot of energy on the defensive end. This was a game that we had some match-up issues. They started with size, throwing us a curve ball (playing big to start the game) and it actually helped us get off to the fourteen to zero lead.
“We were expending a lot of energy on the perimeter. This group (Florida Atlantic) is averaging eight and a quarter three point field goals made per game and we gave them two,” Marlin offered.
Darshawn McClelland led the Cajuns with 15 points and
contributed 12 points while Raymone Andrews and Josh Brown added 10 points apiece.
was the high point man for the Owls with 15 points. Omari Grier, who had been shooting lights-out this season, was shutout by the Cajuns.
For the game, the Owls canned only a third of their shots from the floor while the Cajuns finished closer to fifty percent; the difference was the excellent perimeter defense played by the Cajuns.
“We needed to sub in some guys and Darnell was the next guy. He gave us a lift on the defensive end,” Marlin added.
“Raymone Andrews played extremely well. He played about as good as he can offensively,” said Marlin. “He is one of the best perimeter defenders in our league and we’re glad he’s on our side.”
The Cajuns finished with 9 blocked shots in the contest, four from
and three from Josh Brown, who also led the team in rebounds with 8.
“We certainly need to have good defensive players because college basketball is loaded with good shooters,” Marlin claimed. “It’s about how you play, not where you play and if we continue to work and trust and believe in each other and bring the effort that we had in the last two games and in practice the last week, we certainly feel like we can play home, away or neutral.”
Louisiana returns to action next week on the road in Bowling Green, Kentucky as the Cajuns travel to face always-tough
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