UL forward Jalen Johnson (1) has bounced back from a recent slump with a solid road trip. He's currently leading the Cajuns at 14.2 points and 6.6 rebounds a game.

The UL Ragin’ Cajuns may not face another team with as long an injury list for the rest of the season, but coach Bob Marlin’s club will square off with a team that struggles shooting as much as it does at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cajundome.

At times in recent weeks, the Cajuns have played good defense. Despite the injuries, UL has at times competed well on the boards.

Rarely, however, have the Cajuns shot it well from the floor.

For the season, UL is making just 41.1 percent overall from the floor, 32.8 percent from 3-point land and 71.4 percent from the free throw line.

The result of that poor shooting and a limited roster has been a 2-8 record over its last 10 games.

The Mavs can relate. UTA is only making 41.4 of its overall shot, 30.8 from 3-point land and .74.8 at the line.

And like the Cajuns, the Mavericks (6-12, 2-5) have only won two of their last 10 games.

“They’ve got a group that’s going to be patient on offense and stingy on defense,” Marlin said of UTA. It should be a really good basketball game.”

David Azore (16.1 pts, 5.0 rebs) and Brian Warren (13.3 pts, 2.7 rebs) are UTA’s only two double-figure scorers.

The Mavs’ two Sun Belt wins were at Arkansas State 73-52 and home to Appalachian State 66-56.

The Cajuns (7-11, 2-5), meanwhile, have held their own defensively in recent games, but can’t get a shot to fall. Leading Georgia Southern 33-26 early in the second half Saturday, UL only made one field goal in the game’s final 10 minutes in losing by 20.

“We’re trying to do our best,” Marlin said. “We’ve had great plans for the guys. We told them to stick together. There’s nothing you can do. I mean, you got into a fight and you don’t have half your ammunition, it’s going to be difficult.

“We’re just trying to fight and get through each game and improve as a team each time we take the court. We’ve done that. We rebounded the ball well on this trip. We’ve done some good things, but we’ve got to continue to shoot the ball well and put it all together.”

Junior transfer Jalen Johnson has stabilized his performance of late. He’s currently leading the team at 14.2 points and 6.6 rebounds a game.

“Jalen has played well at times,” Marlin said. “He’s been the focal point of scouting reports. I’m proud of him for rebounding the ball. He’s one of the leaders in conference averaging right at seven (rebounds a game). He and Dou (Gueye) have rebounded the ball well and Tirus (Smith) has played well too.

“Jalen has not shot the ball like he’s capable. He’ll have a breakout game soon, but I thought he gave a really good effort on this road trip.”

Marlin indicated in Monday’s weekly press conference that senior guard P.J. Hardy (ankle) should be expected back during his three-game homestand — that continues at 7 p.m. Saturday against Texas State — and red-hot freshman guard Mylik Wilson (knee sprain) could return but that remains a question mark.

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