The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns basketball team used a late run against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to blow open a competitive game and win 66-45.

With the win, Louisiana is now 2-0 on the season.

Forward Theo Akwuba made Louisiana's first shot of the game, but the Cajuns went on a cold stretch afterwards. Both teams were sloppy with the ball to start. The Cajuns had four turnovers and the Golden Eagles had five in the opening four minutes of the first half. Louisiana also had four quick fouls early in the game.

As the two teams went back-and-forth, Southern Miss took a 13-12 lead nearly halfway through the first half. The Cajuns offense struggled from the floor, hitting only four of their first 14 shots and only two of their first eight three-point attempts.

A three-pointer by guard Greg Williams got Louisiana within one at 19-18 with five minutes left to go in the first half. Later, an offensive rebound and put-back by Akwuba gave the Cajuns the lead back at 22-21. Williams hit a layup as the first half clock expired to stretch Louisiana's lead to six points. It capped off a 9-2 run going into halftime.

The Cajuns entered halftime with a 29-23 lead after the two teams battled in the first half.

Williams led the way for Louisiana with 11 first half points on 4/6 shooting. The Cajuns offense struggled but their defense forced 12 turnovers. They also out-rebounded the Golden Eagles 21-14, including seven offensive rebounds to Southern Miss' one.

Both teams started off poorly in the second half. Akwuba broke the scoreless stretch to make it 31-23, but Southern Miss immediately answered with a mid-range jumper to get it back to six points.

Offensive rebounding was key for Louisiana, and the Cajuns dominated the boards. They took their first double-digit lead at 38-27 with 13 minutes remaining.

Louisiana had multiple opportunities to continue building on their lead, but their offense struggled. Southern Miss took advantage, going on a 9-0 run to get it to 38-36. A free throw by Akwuba ended the nearly five-minute drought. Akwuba's lay-up broke an empty streak from the field, and the lead stretched back to 41-36.

Forward Kobe Julien and guard Kentrell Garnett sparked a 11-2 run with four minutes left in the game. Three straight three-pointers gave the Cajuns their largest lead of the night with 13 points at 52-39.

Two more threes by Julien and Williams broke it open at 60-43 with two minutes remaining.

The Cajuns hit another late three and ran out the clock to finish their 2021 road opener with a 66-45 victory.

Louisiana only shot 32 percent from the field, but they had three players score in double figures.

Williams led the way with 18 points, forward Jordan Brown had 11, and Julien had 10. Akwuba finished with nine points and eight rebounds.

The Cajuns defense was stellar in the game, as they forced 25 turnovers by the Golden Eagles. They had 15 steals in the game. Louisiana also out-rebounded Southern Miss 46-37. They had 14 offensive rebounds in the game.

Up next, Louisiana comes home to face Xavier Louisiana on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m.

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