It was another night of frustrating setbacks for the UL men's and women's basketball teams in Sun Belt play Thursday.
In Mobile, Ala., coach Bob Marlin's club fell short in virtual dead heat game 78-75 to South Alabama to fall to 10-16 overall and 5-10 in league play.
The Cajuns lost despite the heroic effort from junior guard Cedric Russell, who exploded for 29 points on 7-of-13 shooting from 3-point land, along with five rebounds.
The problem is the rest of the team was 3-of-17 shooting from 3-point land. All three of those came from P.J. Hardy, one of which gave UL a 71-69 lead with 37 seconds left.
But the Jaguars made five free throws down the stretch to hold on to the victory that elevated their record to 15-11 overall and 8-7 in Sun Belt play.
UL was barely outrebounded 38-36 and the turnovers were the same at 10-10. Neither team held a double-digit lead in the game with UL's largest lead being nine midway through the first half and South Alabama's being eight midway through the second half.
In addition to Russell, Jalen Johnson added 19 points and six rebounds, while Tirus Smith had 10 points and 14 boards.
The Cajuns did get a few breaks Thursday, however, with last-place ULM beating Troy 74-71 and Coastal Carolina falling 79-69 at Georgia Southern.
That means UL is still tied with Troy for the final qualifying spot into the Sun Belt Conference Tournament - both just one game behind Coastal Carolina at 6-9.
Meanwhile, coach Garry Brodhead's women's squad lost its fourth straight game after an encouraging 6-2 start in Sun Belt play with a 61-53 home loss to Georgia State.
The setback dropped the Cajuns into a tie for sixth place with Arkansas State at 6-6, which is two games behind the desired spot of fourth place with six games left to play.
Once again, the Cajuns just couldn't make a bucket. UL led 34-32 at the half, but then went ice cold in the second half. The Cajuns only made six of their 28 attempts from the field in the second half, shooting 20 percent from the field in the fourth quarter and 23.1 percent from the field in the third quarter.
Jomyra Mathis had 12 points, followed by Skyler Goodwin with 11 points and five boards and Ty'Reona Doucet with 11 points and six rebounds.
The women will now host Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. Saturday, while the men travel to Troy in hope of completing a critical season sweep of the Trojans.