Denver CO - Home is where the heart is for the Denver Pioneers and that moniker proved true on Thursday evening as DU topped The Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns by a final score of 55-51.

Denver (12-14, 7-8) improves to 11-2 at home this season, with their only losses in Magness Arena coming in overtime. The Pioneers rarely lose at home, but have the nation’s longest road losing streak with 43 consecutive losses on an opponent’s home court.

Louisiana (9-17, 6-9) has also struggled away from home, falling to 1-12 this season away from the Cajundome.

The win helps DU move into the Sun Belt’s seven seed, while the Cajuns cling to the eighth and final seed that gives a home game in the opening round of the SBC Tournament. UL wins a head-to-head tie-breaker over FIU, who defeated Troy on Thursday to improve to 6-9 in conference play.

The Cajuns trailed by 15 points less than four minutes into the second half, but outscored DU 17-5 over the next 13-plus minutes to make it a one possession game.

UL was whistled for three fouls, two offensive, in a 29-second span with under two minutes to play that contributed to the team falling behind by six points at the one-minute mark.

The Pioneers scored all seven of their points in the final two minutes from the free throw line to hold on for the victory.

Randell Daigle led the Cajuns with 12 points, while Ryan McCoy finished with 10 points, four steals and three assists.

DU was 7-of-13 from the free throw line in the final two minutes.

DU took only 14 shots in the first half, but made 71 percent of them, including all four three-point attempts. The hot shooting continued in the first minute of the second half, as the Pioneers scored five quick points to take an 11-point lead.

The Cajuns cut their deficit to 10 points twice in the first nine minutes of the second half, but couldn’t get the Pioneers lead under double figures until Daigle hit a triple to cap a 7-0 run by UL that deflated the hosts lead to 43-36 with 9:15 remaining in the game.

UL grew increasingly frustrated as both Chris Gradnigo and Tyren Johnson had fouled out with 7:39 still to play. The Cajuns were already without La’Ryan Gary, who didn’t make the trip with an ankle injury. It didn’t stop the team from playing strong defense, holding DU to only one field goal and three total points over a 10-minute span.

Four straight points by McCoy helped the Cajuns trim the score to 45-41 with 5:57 left to play. A lay-up by Daigle followed a Pioneers’ free throw to make the score 46-43 with 4:53 remaining.

The Cajuns forced 18 turnovers and dominated on the offensive glass 11-3.

UL saw their three top scorers, Travis Bureau, Gradnigo and Daigle combine for only two field goals and seven points in the first half, but were still within six points at the break. Gradnigo saw limited minutes after picking-up three fouls.

The Cajuns scored the game’s first four points, but then went cold from the floor. Two free throws by Gradnigo were the only points by UL in a seven-minute span. DU used a 15-2 run to take a 15-6 edge with 10:36 to play in the opening half.

McCoy helped the Cajuns find their rhythm, sparking a 7-2 burst. Daigle’s triple pulled the Cajuns within four points, 17-13, with 6:57 remaining in the opening 20 minutes.

Consecutive baskets by Courtney Wallace and a lay-up by McCoy closed the margin to only two points with two minutes left.

Sabatino Chen then connected with a triple to give the Pioneers some breathing room.

The Cajuns return home on Sunday to face New Orleans at 7:15 p.m.

Louisiana vs Denver
02/19/09 7:00 PM at Denver, Colo. (Magness Arena)

 

Louisiana 51


      Total 3-point   Rebounds
## Player p fgm-fga fgm-fga ftm-fta off-def tot pf tp a to blk stl min
01  Johnson, Tyren  1-3  0-1  3-3  3-4  18 
33  Gradnigo, Chris  1-3  0-1  2-2  1-2  21 
41  Barr, Jeremy  1-5  0-0  1-4  3-1  15 
02  Daigle, Randell  4-14  3-10  1-2  0-1  12  29 
22  Bureau, Travis  3-8  1-2  1-1  3-4  34 
00  Batiste, Colby  0-0  0-0  0-0  0-0  11 
12  Lago, Willie  0-1  0-1  2-2  0-0  11 
42  Wallace, Courtney  3-3  0-0  1-4  0-1  25 
55  McCoy, Ryan  3-6  0-2  4-6  1-0  10  36 
TM  TEAM  0-1 
  Totals..............  16-43  4-17  15-24  11-14  25  25  51  13  200 
  37.2%  23.5%  62.5% 
  Team summary:   FG 3FG FT
  1st Half:    8-22  1-8  6-8 
  36.4%  12.5%  75.0% 
  2nd Half:    8-21  3-9  9-16 
  38.1%  33.3%  56.3% 


Denver 55


      Total 3-point   Rebounds
## Player p fgm-fga fgm-fga ftm-fta off-def tot pf tp a to blk stl min
10  Lewis, Rob  3-4  0-0  6-9  0-4  12  16 
12  Coughlin, Justin  2-4  1-2  1-2  0-2  15 
24  Rohnert, Nate  4-6  0-0  6-9  2-4  14  35 
05  Stafford, Brian  4-6  1-3  0-2  0-0  36 
11  Lewis, Kyle  1-2  1-1  0-0  0-1  16 
15  Hallam, Travis  1-2  0-0  0-0  0-4  34 
23  Chen, Sabatino  1-1  1-1  0-0  0-1  22 
33  Hooper, Andrew  2-5  2-4  0-0  1-1  25 
35  Peter-Denman, Nigel  0-0  0-0  0-0  0-0 
TM  TEAM  0-5 
  Totals..............  18-30  6-11  13-22  3-22  25  23  55  11  18  200 
  60.0%  54.5%  59.1% 
  Team summary:   FG 3FG FT
  1st Half:    10-14  4-4  5-7 
  71.4%  100 %  71.4% 
  2nd Half:    8-16  2-7  8-15 
  50.0%  28.6%  53.3% 


Score by Periods  1st   2nd   Total   
Louisiana 
23  28  51  Record: (9-17, 6-9 SBC) 
Denver   29  26  55  Record: (12-14, 7-8 SBC) 

Officials: Paul Janssen, Terry Oglesby, Terry Davis
Technical fouls: Louisiana-Lafayette-None. Denver-None.
Attendance: 1229