UL coach Bob Marlin has been predicting for the past month it was going to happen.
He just knew eventually all of the precise long-range shooting in practice, sooner or later it was going to transfer to the floor in a game.
It finally did Saturday afternoon at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, the Ragin' Cajuns exploding for eight 3-pointers in the first half in cruising to a 68-51 road win over UT-Arlington.
The win gave UL (9-4, 3-3 Sun Belt) its third straight split to open the league schedule. UTA dropped to 8-6 and 3-3.
The Cajuns return home to play Arkansas State at 6 p.m. Friday at the Cajundome.
Cedric Russell got the hot shooting going in the game’s first few minutes, but Dou Gueye began to take it to a different level with a bomb of his own at 15:17 for a 12-4 Cajuns lead.
That seemed to open the floodgates. Russell made another one at 12:53 to make it 18-8.
Jacobi Gordon joined the parade at 11:02, and Mylik Wilson shed his recent shooting slump in style with three straight from 7:50 to 4:55 to build a dominating 41-17 lead.
By the end of the first half, the Cajuns had made 8 of 10 attempts from behind the arc. UTA, meanwhile, only made 11 of 36 attempts from the field in the first half.
For the game, UL limited UTA to 26% shooting (18 of 64) and only 4 of 27 from 3-point land.
Meanwhile, UL made 9 of 15 from behind the arc.
Wilson led all UL scorers with 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including and 5-of-5 on 3-pointers, along with 16 rebounds, two assists and four steals.
Russell was the other big weapon for the Cajuns with 16 points and four rebounds.
Gueye settled for seven points, but added 10 rebounds to help the Cajuns win the rebounding battle 51-38.
As hot as the Cajuns were in the first half, they cooled off in the second half. UTA tried to capitalize, getting a Grayson Carter bucket at 11:40 to cut the lead to 50-40. A Shahada Wells free throw then made the lead single digits at 50-41 at the 11:20 point.
One night after scoring 31 points and eight rebounds, Wells was limited to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting.
The five-minute offensive slump by the Cajuns was halted by an Isaiah Richards free throw at 10:52. Ty Harper’s bucket before a Wilson layup at 8:18 worked together to give UL a comfortable cushion again at 55-41.
A Russell layup got the lead back to 20 at 61-41 with 5:57 left to play to cap an 11-0 run.