Louisiana (11-6) at Troy (7-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 18, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Trojan Arena (5,200) -- Troy, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Louisiana 8-0, Troy 5-2. Away Record: Louisiana 2-6, Troy 2-6. Neutral Record: Louisiana 1-0, Troy 0-2. Conference Record: Louisiana 2-2, Troy 2-3. Series Record: Louisiana leads, 8-5.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Sun Belt Conference teams fighting to get back into the win column meet up in Alabama tonight, as the Troy Trojans host the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana.
Louisiana, which is scheduled to host Georgia State and Western Kentucky next week, saw a two-game win streak come to an end on Thursday night as it bowed to South Alabama on the road in an 81-73 final. The team is now 2-2 in league play and just 2-6 in true road dates.
Similar to the Ragin' Cajuns, Troy is also hoping to bounce back from a loss to ULM two nights ago, 75-64, which ended its two-game win streak. Despite the setback, the Trojans are still a solid 5-2 in their own building in 2013-14.
Louisiana leads the all-time series, 8-5, the Cajuns winning the most recent meeting last February by a score of 76-66 at home.
South Alabama's win on Thursday night over Louisiana was the first conference victory of the season for the Jaguars, which just goes to show that anything can happen in any game these days. Elfrid Payton led the Ragin' Cajuns with 18 points, adding seven rebounds and six assists, but he also shot just 4-of-10 at the free-throw line. Shawn Long accounted for 15 points and Kevin Brown 14, the latter shooting an impressive 4-of-5 behind the 3-point line.
Long, who has delivered nine double-doubles this season, leads the program in scoring with 20.9 points after having scored in double figures in all 17 outings. Payton checks in with 20.1 ppg, a considerable jump over his career mark of only 13.3 ppg. Listed in the top-15 in the nation heading into the weekend, Louisiana as a whole is pouring in 84.3 ppg as the team shoots 37.4 percent behind the 3-point line, compared to just 29.6 percent accuracy by the opposition.
In a game that featured eight ties and six lead changes, Troy was tied with ULM at the break but then shot only 2-of-11 behind the 3-point line and was outscored at the free-throw line, 13-4, over the final 20 minutes of action. Hunter Williams and Jeff Mullahey both tallied 16 points and Antoine Myers pitched in with 13, while Kevin Thomas gave the squad a lift on the glass with a game-high 11 rebounds, helping to give the Trojans a slight 28-25 edge in that department.
It only makes sense that the only two players scoring in double figures at the moment for the Trojans are the ones who have started every game, Myers (12.7 ppg) is shooting 50.4 percent from the field and has made more free-throws than anyone else on the roster has yet to attempt, while Williams (11.6 ppg) may be shooting only 32.7 percent from the floor, he is converting 34.1 percent beyond the arc and paces the program with 50 assists.
Behind one of the most aggressive offenses in the country, Louisiana should be able to find a way to take care of business on the road tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana 81, Troy 72
01/18 10:23:37 ET