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Strong second half lead Cajuns past Loyola Wednesday

LAFAYETTE (PRESS RELEASE) – JaKeenan Gant posted his second consecutive double-double, scoring a season-high 21 points while grabbing a career-best 13 rebounds while Jeremy Hayes came off the bench to score a season-high 18 points as the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns rolled to a 97-84 win over Loyola (N.O.) on Wednesday at the Cajundome.

Justin Miller and Marcus Stroman each posted double-doubles for Louisiana (6-3), which won its fourth straight game and improved to 26-2 all-time in home games during the month of December under head coach Bob Marlin. Malik Marquetti added 14 points for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Jerekius Davis pulling down a career-high 11 rebounds in 18 minutes of play.

Louisiana trailed 17-14 after Loyola’s Tre’Von Jasmine’s layup with 13:22 remaining in the first half before going on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good. Marquetti scored five points in the spurt for the Ragin’ Cajuns with a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer while Stroman’s steal and layup with 10:48 left in the half gave Louisiana a 25-17 lead.

Loyola (5-3) trailed 44-38 at halftime and 49-45 on Myles Burns’ dunk with 18:08 remaining before Louisiana scored the next nine points to halt the Wolf Pack surge. Gant drained a 3-pointer that pushed the Ragin’ Cajuns lead to 52-45 before back-to-back 3-pointers by Miller, who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, gave Louisiana a 58-45 lead with 16:02 left.

The Wolf Pack got as close as 58-49 on a free throw by Burns with 15:04 remaining, but Louisiana went on a 12-4 run that was capped by a free throw by Hayes, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns a 70-53 advantage at the 12:06 mark.

Stroman scored 10 points and dished out 11 assists for Louisiana, which finished 25-for-34 from the free throw line and held a 58-40 advantage on the glass.

Freshman Zach Wrightsil posted a double-double with 23 points and 15 rebounds for Loyola while Burns finished with 14 points. Terry Smith, Jr., added 13 points for the Wolf Pack with Ethan Turner chipped in with 11.

Louisiana will complete final exams before resuming action on Tuesday (Dec. 11) against Prairie View A&M at the Cajundome.

Andrew Clay

Andrew Clay

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