Cajun Trio Hands NT Season's Biggest Loss

BOX SCORE
POSTGAME NOTES

LAFAYETTE, La. – North Texas had the Williams-to-Williams connection working, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a potent three-pronged attack from Louisiana-Lafayette in a 105-74 loss at the Cajundome.

Jordan Williams posted a career-high 31 points – his third straight 20-plus point game – and Alzee Williams tacked on 14 points for a North Texas (8-15, 3-9 SBC) team that shot 49.1 percent from the field.

The Ragin’ Cajun trio of Shawn Long (23 points, 13 rebounds), Elfrid Payton (24 points, 9 assists) and Bryant Mbamalu (18 points) blew open what was a four-point game early in the second half into a route thanks to 62.9 percent shooting in the closing frame. ULL outscored NT 34-13 over the game’s final nine minutes.

The 105 points allowed tied for the second most NT has ever allowed in a Sun Belt game, and was only topped by Western Kentucky’s 107-point effort against the Mean Green on Feb. 3, 2001. The 31 point loss is NT’s largest in an SBC game since the Ragin’ Cajuns (8-15, 4-8 SBC) knocked off NT by 34 on Feb. 24, 2003 at the Cajundome.

Always a heated rivalry, NT’s final Cajundome appearance as a member of the Sun Belt Conference featured four technical fouls, including three assessed against the Mean Green.

North Texas had trouble getting out of its own way early in the game, and the Cajuns took advantage. NT committed eight turnovers in the opening eight minutes, and Louisiana turned those into nine points and a 21-10 edge. The Mean Green finished the first half with a season-high tying 13 turnovers.

Jordan Williams showed his ability off the dribble in helping to claw NT back into the game. The sophomore poured in 16 first-half points, including a jumper with 4:15 on the clock that capped off a personal 6-0 run and narrowed the Cajun lead to 10.

A Tony Mitchell tip-in with 5 seconds on the first-half clock cut the Cajun lead to 45-37. NT shot 57.1 percent in the first half thanks to 12 fast break points. Mitchell, who battled a foot injury, scored seven points and added four blocks to his school record numbers. The sophomore now has 135 blocks for his career and 65 for the year.


 

 

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