The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team has been nigh unstoppable so far this year. They’d extended their winning streak last week to six games by defeating the Arkansas State Red Wolves and Texas State Bobcats, winning both matchups by nine points and continuing the trend of building sustainable leads early with lockdown defense.
To recap one more time, the Cajuns at this point last January were 2–6 in their first eight games with a negative point differential for an overall record of 9–10. The talent developed over this offseason in spite of the transfers and graduations was crucial to this change of fate.
On Jan. 26, the team returned to the Cajundome for a matchup against the 13–9 Troy Trojans. This Trojans team looked to be on the precipice of a huge win streak: the pain of a 89–87 overtime collapse against the excellent James Madison Dukes on Jan. 19 had spurred on a rage-fueled 77–53 dismantling of the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks last week: not necessarily the attitude of a team you want to face.
The Cajuns flipped this potential script on its head right away — for the sixth time this calendar year, the team continued its exciting trend of finishing the first half with a great defensive stretch by refusing to allow a single Trojans point for nearly four minutes of game time. A team-wide 66% effective field goal shooting clip coupled with the Trojans being held to 2–12 from three-point range allowed the Cajuns to build a 24-point lead by halftime and stay on pace in the second half to win 72–57.
Greg Williams Jr. led all scorers in this matchup, giving his points per game a healthy boost with 21 on 66% true shooting and two steals. Terence Lewis II turned in another double-double performance with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Kobe Julien stepped up and wasn’t afraid to let it fly in his 14 minutes, going 4–5 including two 3-pointers.
Then, on Saturday, Jan. 28, a Cajuns whiteout crowd of 3,500 strong showed up to support the team as they faced the Georgia Southern Eagles. Though the Eagles had stumbled to a 5–4 conference record, this was still a dangerous team full of talented scorers; they had upset Marshall, one of the best teams in the conference, 81–76 at the beginning of January.
Brown and Williams again led the way in scoring: a combined 41 points on 13–29 from the field, including 4–10 from the three-point line for Williams. Terence Lewis II had a very productive night with 16 points on 60% true shooting and 11 rebounds in just 26 minutes. Lewis and Themus Fulks both did a great job capitalizing on their free throw opportunities, going 8–10 and 9–10 from the line respectively.
After these wins, the next tests in this home stand will be a Feb. 2 rematch with the Texas State Bobcats and Senior Night on Feb. 4 against the Marshall Thundering Herd.