Louisiana Basketball Comeback Falls Short, Lose Semifinal Match 84-73 to Georgia State
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball team's comeback bid came up short in their 84-73 loss in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinals to Georgia State.
The hole that the Cajuns dug in the first half ended up being too large to escape.
The Cajuns started slowly against the Panthers, only hitting one of their first six shots. Georgia State controlled the boards and took an early 11-3 lead to start the game. When Louisiana's offense finally started to heat up, the Panthers were matching them to maintain their first-half advantage. Georgia State went on a run in the first half where they hit 10 of 11 shots to open up a double-digit, 29-18 lead.
Senior guard Cedric Russell did what he could to keep the game close in the first half, hitting three of his first four three-pointers and scoring a quick 10 points for the Cajuns, but foul trouble kept him from having an even bigger half.
Turnovers and poor defense doomed the Cajuns in the first half. Louisiana turned the ball over 10 times to Georgia State's three. The Panthers scored 52 points on 20-38 shooting and hit six of their first 10 three point shots in the half. Georgia State's largest lead in the first half was 19, and the Cajuns faced a 52-35 deficit at halftime.
The Cajuns started the second half on a 11-1 run to start climbing out of the hole and make it a 53-46 game. Louisiana managed to get the game within three points with good shooting and went into the final eight minutes of the second half down 69-66.
The Cajuns finally finished climbing back into it, tying the game at 69 with 7:30 left in the second half. The 17-point hole was gone and Louisiana was in a brand new game. However, this was as close as they would come. The Cajuns went on a scoring drought that lasted over five minutes and the Panthers recaptured control of the game with a 12-0 run to take a commanding 83-71 lead.
Georgia State managed to survive the Cajuns comeback attempt and won 84-73.
Louisiana ended the game 29-67 from the field as a team and shot 9-25 from the three point line. Russell led the team with 20 points. Sophomore guard Mylik Wilson scored 19 points and added six rebounds and assists before he fouled out. The Cajuns were outrebounded 41-37 in the game.
With the loss, the Cajuns 2020-21 season comes to an end. They finished the season 17-9 and 11-8 in Sun Belt Conference play.