The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are proving to be clutch from the free throw line in the final minutes over the past stretch of games. The Cajuns hit 12-of-12 from the line in the final four minutes to hold on for a 64-61 win over Arkansas State on Thursday night at the Cajundome. The win marks the eighth straight victory for UL and is currently tied for the fifth longest streak in the nation.

The win moves UL to 11-14 overall and 8-5 in the Sun Belt. Arkansas State, who entered the game in a tie with Denver atop the Sun Belt's Western Division, falls to 14-14 on the season and 8-5 in the league.

The last time UL won eight games in-a-row came in the 2002-03 season from Jan. 18 to Feb. 15.

The Cajuns jumped out early, building a 10-2 lead by the first media timeout at the 15:11 mark. UL held the Red Wolves without a field goal for the first 4:24 of the game. A jumper from ASU's Donald Boone snapped a 15:23 stretch in which the Cajuns had held their opponents to zero field goals, dating back to last week's contest at FAU.

UL then suffered a scoring drought of its own, going nearly four minutes without a field goal. A tip-in from J.J. Thomas snapped the 0-for-7 shooting streak to put the Cajuns up, 12-5, with 11:07 remaining in the half.

Neither team could find a rhythm from the floor, but the Cajuns defense wreaked havoc on the Red Wolves forcing them into nine turnovers through the first 16 minutes of play.

But the Cajuns could not take advantage of ASU's miscues until a three-pointer from Daigle at the 5:23 mark gave UL its first double-digit lead, 21-9.

A 7-2 run from the Red Wolves brought the lead back to single digits. UL responded with a 6-2 run of its own to swing the lead back to double-figures at the half, 29-18. It was the first time since Jan. 14, 2010 that UL's defense held an opponent to under 20 points in a half (vs. Denver, 17 points).

The Cajuns pulled ahead by as much as 14 in the opening minutes of the second half before Arkansas State put together a 9-0 run to close the gap 34-29 with, 16:40, remaining.

Back-to-back threes from the Red Wolves made it a one-possession game. But Randell Daigle drained a trey of his own to give UL a 41-35 edge by the 13:45 mark.

ASU responded with seven unanswered points, giving the visitors their first lead of the evening, 42-41, with 10:55 remaining.

Thomas then scored the Cajuns' next six points to reclaim a 47-46 lead with 7:34 left in the game.

Back-to-back baskets by Josh White and La'Ryan Gary, along with another strong defensive stand allowed the Cajuns to build a 52-46 lead with 5:28 remaining. UL once again held ASU scoreless for a four-minute span.

The Red Wolves closed to within three points on three occasions, but UL knocked down six straight free throw attempts to keep the rallies at bay.

A three-pointer from ASU's Donald Boone with 2:20 left, saw the Cajuns' lead shrink to 58-56. On the ensuing possession, the Cajuns made a costly turnover allowing the Red Wolves to tie the contest at 58-58 with 1:17 remaining.

Raymone Andrew broke the stalemate, knocking down a clutch pair of free throws with 44.9 left on the clock.

With 19.8 left, the Red Wolves' Rashad Allison had a chance to tie the contest from the charity stripe but could not connect on his first attempt.

The Cajuns would make two more trips to the line with Daigle and Thomas making both sets of free throws.

With the score 64-61 and 2.4 seconds remaining, ASU had a chance to tie but turned the ball over to seal the win.

Thomas led UL with 20 points as Gary and Daigle joined him in double figures with 14 and 12, respectively.

Travis Bureau only scored eight but pulled in a game-high 12 rebounds, including 10 in the first half.

As a squad, UL struggled on the night, shooting 35.2 percent (19-54). But the defense forced ASU into 15 turnovers, while out-rebounding the Red Wolves, 36-34.

On Saturday, the Cajuns will put the streak on the line against Western Kentucky.Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on Fox College Sports. Check your local cable provider for channel details.

Saturday's game will also include the "Fear the Bear" promotion. Any UL fan sporting a beard, real or fake, will receive a free ticket to the game. Tickets can be picked up at the Cajundome Ticket Office from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Official Basketball Box Score
Arkansas State vs Louisiana
2/17/11 7:05 pm CT at Lafayette, La. (Cajundome)


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VISITORS: Arkansas State 14-14, 8-5 SBC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
13 Adams, Martavius.... f  3-6    0-0    3-3    0  7  7   5   9  0  4  0  0  21
15 Peterson, Brandon... f  2-6    0-0    0-0    2  4  6   0   4  0  2  3  0  31
02 Finn, Trey.......... g  1-6    0-2    1-3    2  4  6   2   3  0  1  0  3  34
12 Allison, Rashad..... g  8-11   2-3    8-11   2  4  6   3  26  2  1  1  0  33
23 Boone, Donald....... g  4-12   2-6    0-0    0  1  1   5  10  1  1  0  0  36
05 Thomas, Jeremy......    1-2    0-0    1-4    2  1  3   4   3  0  2  1  0  22
10 Sterrenberg, Adam...    0-1    0-0    1-2    1  0  1   1   1  0  1  0  0   3
24 Townsel, Edward.....    2-4    0-1    1-1    0  2  2   1   5  0  2  0  0  13
33 Kirkland, Malcoln...    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   7
   TEAM................                         1  1  2
   Totals..............   21-49   4-12  15-24  10 24 34  21  61  3 14  5  3 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  6-21 28.6%   2nd Half: 15-28 53.6%   Game: 42.9%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  0-5   0.0%   2nd Half:  4-7  57.1%   Game: 33.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-12 50.0%   2nd Half:  9-12 75.0%   Game: 62.5%   3,1
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HOME TEAM: Louisiana 11-14, 8-5 SBC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
03 Bureau, Travis...... f  2-8    0-0    4-4    2 10 12   2   8  0  1  1  0  36
05 Thomas, J.J......... f  7-15   0-2    6-8    4  1  5   1  20  0  0  0  0  34
21 Gary, La'Ryan....... f  5-9    1-2    3-3    1  3  4   4  14  1  3  1  1  30
00 Mbamalu, Bryant..... g  2-5    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   1   4  0  2  0  0  17
22 Andrews, Raymone.... g  0-6    0-0    2-2    0  3  3   3   2  2  1  0  2  28
01 Brown, Josh.........    1-4    0-1    1-2    0  1  1   1   3  1  2  0  1  18
02 Daigle, Randell.....    2-7    2-3    6-6    0  0  0   2  12  4  2  0  0  28
15 Perez, David........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  0  0  0   4
44 Mitchell, Javan.....    0-0    0-0    1-2    0  1  1   2   1  0  0  1  0   5
   TEAM................                         4  3  7
   Totals..............   19-54   3-8   23-27  12 24 36  18  64  8 11  3  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-29 34.5%   2nd Half:  9-25 36.0%   Game: 35.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-5  20.0%   2nd Half:  2-3  66.7%   Game: 37.5%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  8-12 66.7%   2nd Half: 15-15 100 %   Game: 85.2%    2
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Officials: Roger Ayers, Timothy Hall, Leslie Jones
Technical fouls: Arkansas State-None. Louisiana-None.
Attendance: 5304
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Arkansas State................   18   43  -   61
Louisiana.....................   29   35  -   64

Points in the paint-ASU 28,UL 26. Points off turnovers-ASU 12,UL 7.
2nd chance points-ASU 8,UL 12. Fast break points-ASU 4,UL 6.
Bench points-ASU 9,UL 16. Score tied-2 times. Lead changed-4 times.
Last FG-ASU 2nd-00:07, UL 2nd-05:28.
Largest lead-ASU by 1 2nd-10:54, UL by 14 2nd-19:41.

 


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