ARLINGTON, Texas — Hayward Register connected on five first-half 3-pointers and Shawn Long went for 21 points and 15 rebounds as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette men’s basketball beat UT Arlington 81-70 on Saturday night at the College Park Center.
The Cajuns (16-12, 10-7 Sun Belt) won their third straight game. Point guard Jay Wright finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
UL-Lafayette held the Mavericks (15-11, 9-7) to 5-for-29 shooting in the first half and 33.8 percent for the game.
The Cajuns shot 49.1 percent from the field and hit eight 3-pointers, needing all of them to negate a tough 15-for-29 night from the foul line. The Mavs, on the other hand, finished 21-for-29 from the line but were just 5-for-9 in the second half.
Erick Neal and Jamel Outler led UTA with 16 points each as two of four Mavericks in double figures.
Register caught fire right from the gate in the opening half, hitting his first four tries from behind the line, and was 5-for-6 for the half. As a whole, the Cajuns shot 58.3 percent for the half and led by as much as 16 points. But 11 turnovers and a 16-for-20 half at the foul line kept the Mavs within striking distance.
UT Arlington was just 5-for-29 (17.2 percent) shooting in the first half, including 1-for-10 from 3-point range.
UL-Lafayette started off the game on an 11-2 run, getting three 3-pointers from Register in that span, and the Cajuns defense allowed just one made UTA field goal in the first nine minutes.
Bryce Washington banked in a 3-pointer with 7:24 to go until halftime to up the lead to 25-9, but the Mavs got their next six points at the foul line and got 12 made foul shots in the final 6:35 to go into the locker room down just 40-27.
The second half saw Long go to work, going for 18 points and 12 boards in the final 20 minutes. A 7-0 run just after the midway point of the half got the lead up to 62-43 on a tough layup from Devonta Walker.
But the Mavs responded with a 9-2 run of their own before Long connected on his lone three-point basket of the night to push the lead back to 15 with 7:25 to play.
From there, the Cajuns kept the lead at double digits until a 3-pointer from Greg Gainey in the game’s final minute narrowed the game to nine, but no closer.