MIAMI — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette men’s basketball team fought hard, but couldn’t overcome the torrid shooting by Miami as the Hurricanes rolled to a 93-77 win Monday night.
The Hurricanes (2-0) shot 56.4 percent from the field, including a 12-of-23 effort from the 3-point line. Six Miami players finished in double figures, led by Davon Reed, who scored 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
The Cajuns (1-1) never got closer than 12 in the second half, but that doesn’t tell the complete story. They forced Miami to keep making shots by going off for 50 points in the final 20 minutes.
Devonta Walker and Shawn Long keyed a successful second half offensively for the Cajuns near the rim. The two big men combined for 21 points and 15 rebounds in the second half, with nine of those rebounds coming off the offensive glass.
Long converted a three-point play with a little more than six minutes remaining to cap a 6-0 run and cut the Hurricanes’ lead to 12. But every time the Cajuns made a run, Miami had an answer.
“It seemed like whenever we’d get a little momentum for ourselves, score a couple baskets, we couldn’t get a stop,” said coach Bob Marlin.
Reed followed Long’s play with a thunderous dunk to put the Hurricanes back up by 14. That started a 9-4 run that put Miami up by 17 with 2:53 to go, and the Cajuns would never draw closer than 14 the rest of the way.
It would’ve been a much closer game if the Cajuns fared better at the 3-point and free-throw lines. The Cajuns sank just five of their 20 attempts from beyond the arc, and 14-of-24 from the free-throw line.
The thing that hurt the most was when the Cajuns went into a prolonged offensive funk in the first half that allowed Miami to take a big lead into the locker room at halftime.
After a Long basket cut Miami’s lead to 19-15 with 12:12 remaining in the first half, the Cajuns made just two of their next 10 shots. In that same span, the Hurricanes sank 8-of-11 from the floor to turn a four-point lead into a 20-point advantage.
The Cajuns made just four of their final 15 shots from the floor in the first half, including a 1-for-6 effort from deep, despite a couple good looks. They also made just five of their nine free throws in the opening half.
Long led the Cajuns with 21 points and 13 rebounds to pick up his first double-double of the season and 53rd of his career. Long also moved into second place on the school’s all-time rebounding list.
The Cajuns are back on the road Friday when they travel to face Southeastern Conference opponent Alabama.