Louisiana explodes in second half to even all-time series

LOUISIANA La. - Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns can be a scary bunch when they hit their rhythm.

The New Orleans Privateers found that out before 6,033 fans at the Cajundome and a regional TV audience on Saturday night as the Cajuns used an eye-catching 19-2 scoring binge to pull away for an 80-68 victory.

UNO crept within 51-49 of UL with 12:33 to play, but Tiras Wade's lone 3-point basket of the contest sparked the 19-2 breakout that he capped by scoring inside off a steal with 7:26 left to play.

The victory improved coach Robert Lee's squad to 15-8 and 9-2 in Sun Belt Conference play, still tied with Denver atop the Western Division race, while UNO fell to 11-13, 6-5.

"Nah, we weren't worried (at 51-49)," said senior Dwayne Mitchell, one of five UL regulars in double digits with 19 points. "We knew we had to play defense.

"We believe we're the best defensive team in the league."

"That's how we make our living," UL coach Robert Lee said. "If we're going to win anything this year it's going to be on defense. When we get stops we can get into our transition game."

"We just needed to buckle down," Orien Greene said. "We had to settle down and regroup. That (19-2) was all triggered by our defense. Sometimes we lose focus and we just need a timeout. Then we just ignite.

"Once we get going, there's nothing stopping us."

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Bruce Brown
bbrown@theadvertiser.com