The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns begin their 18-game Sun Belt Conference schedule tonight when they host the Arkansas State Red Wolves at the Cajundome.  Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Louisiana (9-4) will be playing its first game without swingman Malik Marquetti.  The senior from Compton, CA is lost for the season after tearing his ACL in the Cajuns' last game against Southeastern Louisiana.  Marquetti was the Cajuns' second leading scorer (15.3) and the team's best defender.  He was also among the league leaders in three point percentage (.452) and free throw percentage (.868).

Jerekius Davis, P. J. Hardy and Jeremy Hayes are among the candidates to replace Marquetti in the starting lineup.

The Red Wolves, under second year head coach Mike Balado, come in at 6-7 on the season, but just 1-7 away from First National Bank Arena.  Arkansas State is led by senior guard Ty Cockfield II, currently second in the league in scoring (20.7).  He is also in the top ten in the league in assists (3.5) and free throw percentage (.816).  Marquis Eaton (10.6) is the other double figure scorer for the guard oriented Red Wolves.

Tonight's game will be the 76th meeting between the schools in a series that dates back to 1964.  Louisiana leads the all time series 51-24, including a 30-8 record in games played in Lafayette.  The Cajuns have won the last two meetings and seven of the last ten. Cajuns' head coach Bob Marlin is 11-7 in his career against Arkansas State.

Tonight's game is the first of a two game home stand for the Cajuns, who will entertain Little Rock Saturday night.


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