Cajuns’ Comeback Trips Richmond, 82-76
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns came back from a nine point second half deficit to defeat Richmond 82-76 and take third place at the inaugural Cayman Islands Classic Wednesday in George Town, Grand Cayman.
"To come here and to 2-1 and not have Johnathan Stove, I'm really proud of our guys," head coach Bob Marlin said after the game.
Frank Bartley IV led the Cajuns with 23 points, and added four assists and six steals in being named to the All-Tournament team. Ja'Keenan Gant scored 16 points, 14 after intermission. Marcus Stroman added a career-high 15 points and Justin Miller chipped in 15 as well.
"We didn't start Ja'Keenan in the second half because Justin (Miller) had been so effective. But when he went into the game, Ja'Keenan gave us great energy on both ends of the court."
Grant Golden led Richmond (1-4) with 24 points and was named to the All-Tournament team as well. De"Monte Buckingham added eleven points and freshman Jacob Gilyard chipped in ten.
Richmond used an 13-2 run over a four minute stretch of the first half to take a 19-11 lead before settling for a 34-30 lead at the half. The lead grew to 42-33 with 17:51 remaining before the Cajuns started their comeback. Justin Miller hit a layup and assisted Bartley on a layup. Miller added two free throws before Gant hit a layup on an assist from Stroman. Malik Marquetti got a three point play after a steal and Bryce Washington hit a layup to cap a 13-2 run that gave the Cajuns a 46-44 lead. The lead eventually grew to 60-52 with Bartley and Gant combining for 14 points before Richmond made a comeback of its own.
The Spiders went on a 14-0 run with Golden scoring six of those points to give Richmond a 66-60 lead with 7:05 to play. But then it was the Cajuns' turn again as Gant scored on a layup, Bartley and Gant each hit a pair of free throws and Gant dunked off a Bartley assist Miller hit a jumper and Stroman capped a 12-0 run with a layup to give the Cajuns a 72-66 advantage with 4:23 to play.
Nick Sherod's three pointer cut the lead in half, but that was as close as Richmond would get as the Cajuns went on another 8-1 run to put the game away.
Louisiana made 18-21 free throws in the second half with Bartley hitting 9-9. The Cajuns shot 61.5% (16-26) from the field in the second half. The Cajuns were outrebounded 32-30,. but Washington snagged 13 boards for the Cajuns.
Louisiana will now head home where they will play McNeese State at the Cajundome Tuesday night.