UL guard Themus Fulks (0) had 13 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in the Cajuns' road win over Arkansas State last month.

In the first meeting in Monroe, the UL Ragin’ Cajuns jumped out to a 21-4 lead on their way to a 13-point win over the Warhawks.

Coach Bob Marlin’s squad proved that hot start was no fluke in Thursday’s rematch in the Cajundome, leading 17-5 early in a dominating 84-67 triumph over ULM.

“Good first half,” UL coach Bob Marlin said. “I thought Themus Fulks got us off to a good start. He hit some big buckets for us and gave us a little momentum.

“Everything went well in the first half.”

The Cajuns (21-6, 11-4) are now involved in a two-way tie for second place in the Sun Belt standings with Marshall, which completed a big comeback win over Georgia Southern. UL also got closer to the top spot after South Alabama trounced Southern Miss, which fell to 12-3 in league play.

UL will next travel to James Madison, which is currently in fourth place at 10-5.

Fulks was indeed on fire early on, scoring 14 of UL’s first 21 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“Not really,” said Fulks, who scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the first half. “I just take what the defense gives. I’m trying to look for my teammates and trying to get them shots. But if the shot is there and I got it going, I know they have faith in me to make the shots as well.”

With that said, Fulks admitted knowing the significance of Thursday’s game.

“Of course, this was a must win if we want to win the conference,” he said. “I just felt good when the tip came. I was getting open shots and I just wanted to take advantage of my opportunities.”

The big win snapped a frustrating two-game losing streak for the Cajuns.

That frustration led to two eventful practices and a very focused defensive effort against ULM.

“We came to practice focused. I think we had the best two practices all year,” said Kentrell Garnett, who had 12 points on 2-of-4 shooting from 3-point land. “I think we were just focused on trying to get the next win. We were frustrated within ourselves, so the two practices were pretty tough. We got after it and just let it out on each other. It was good the last two practices.”

Of course, the biggest contribution came defensively with Garnett playing a big role in limiting ULM’s leading scorer Jamari Blackmon to three total points on 1-of-10 shooting from the field.

“I think really just staying in front of the ball,” Garnett said. “Over the weekend, we let a lot of guys drive us. We weren’t getting back in transition, so the defensive goal tonight was to take out the two guards – number 11 (Tyreke Locure) and number 0 (Blackmon) – and I think we did a good job tonight.”

The Cajuns limited ULM to 27.3% shooting in the first half, resulting in a 49-18 halftime lead for the Cajuns.

“We knew he (Blackmon) was going to take a lot of shots and we knew he was going to take a lot of bad shots,” Fulks said. “We were going to live with it as long as they were contested. We pressured him and made him uncomfortable.”

Also reaching double figures for the Cajuns were Jordan Brown with 15 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Terence Lewis added 11 points and four boards.

The Cajuns led by as much at 34 points early in the second half, but the Warhawks actually trimmed UL’s giant lead to 13 with 5:00 left in the game. ULM would get no closer, though.

“We talked about the last two (second) halves we had last week,” Marlin said. “We came out and let them make some 3-point shots. They are the leading 3-point shooting team in the conference ahead of us after our performance last weekend.”

The Cajuns made nine 3-pointers to seven for the Warhawks.

“We won the 3-point game tonight and I thought that was big for us,” Marlin said.

The Cajuns also outrebounded ULM 35-31 and only committed six turnovers to 16 for the Warhawks. UL had 20 turnovers in Monroe.

Marlin said his pregame talk with Fulks must have worked.

“I just talked to him today at shooting practice and told him, ‘You came here to help us win games that we let go in the second half,’” Marlin said. “We just left two on the table. He came out and he was focused. He was ready.”

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