LOUISIANA La. A couple of 3-pointers missed, and one crucial one that found the mark, were all that separated Louisiana from unbbeaten Arizona on Tuesday night.

Coach Jessie Evans' squad earned respect with its last-minute 72-69 loss to the Wildcats, despite falling to 4-4 on the season, and the Ragin' Cajuns will attempt to build on that momentum when they host the 6-3 Houston Cougars at 7:05 p.m. today in the Cajundome.

The game serves as a final tune-up for UL before the Cajuns begin Sun Belt Conference play on Jan. 10 at Denver, and if it's anything like the last time these two teams met here it will be memorable.

In that Jan. 13, 1988 meeting, Earl "The Pearl" Watkins lofted an unlikely 30-foot 3-pointer to give the Cajuns a wild 102-101 overtime win over the Cougars.

Watkins, who scored 40 points in the game, later admitted he thought the Cajuns were ahead and that he was simply dribbling out the clock before one final shot.

Current UL seniors Brad Boyd and Laurie Bridges were held to a combined 5-of-28 shooting from behind the arc in the finals of the Fiesta Bowl Classic, while Arizona's Andre Iguodala nailed a trey off an inbounds pass with the shot clock expiring and 10 seconds remaining in the contest.

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Bruce Brown
bbrown@theadvertiser.com