It was a tale of two halves at the Cajundome on Saturday night, as Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns did not play up to their standard in the first 20 minutes of their contest against Louisiana Tech.

In the end, Louisiana won the game 61-56, but the second half was a different story than the first, as the Ragin' Cajuns surged to 40 points while locking down on defense, holding the Bulldogs to only 21.

What was the message at halftime?

"Stay the course," explained head coach Bob Marlin. "We talked about it being a heavyweight fight...we could've got knocked out. We were staggered in the middle rounds...that's what we told them at halftime. We've got to win in a decision and that's what we did."

Trailing by 35-21 at the end of the first half, and by 16 early in the second, the Cajuns leaned on defense and team basketball to propel them to victory.

"Definitely the defense, we came out focused," said senior guard Cedric Russell of the difference in halves. "Bringing that defensive intensity (helped) us put it all together."

Russell was sterling, leading all scorers with 25 points in 38 minutes, playing strong in the first half before the rest of the supporting cast joined him the second frame.

As it has all season, rebounding continued to be a strength.

The Cajuns outrebounded the Bulldogs 49-32, with Theo Akwuba and Devin Butts each finished with 10.

Under Bob Marlin, Louisiana is now 31-1 at home against in-state foes and 50-10 at home versus non-conference opponents.

With the victory tonight, Louisiana improves to 4-1 on the season.

Next up, a home game versus UNO (1-5) this Tuesday. Louisiana defeated UNO earlier this season in New Orleans 66-63.

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