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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 8:15 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cajundome (12,068) -- Lafayette, Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: ULM 4-4, Louisiana 8-2. Away Record: ULM 3-5, Louisiana 3-7. Neutral Record: ULM 0-0, Louisiana 1-0. Conference Record: ULM 4-4, Louisiana 3-5. Series Record: Louisiana leads, 48-19.
GAME NOTES: In a rivalry rematch, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns seek revenge against the ULM Warhawks when the two teams meet in Sun Belt Conference action at the Cajundome on Saturday night.
On Jan. 4 , the teams squared off in Monroe in a double-overtime marathon, which ULM claimed with a 103-98 triumph. Louisiana still leads the all-time series by a dominating margin of 48-19.
ULM comes into this contest with a bit of momentum, as it took down Arkansas State on Thursday, 72-65. The win was the third in the last five games for the Warhawks, who are just 7-9 overall, but an even 4-4 in league play. They visit Texas State next.
Louisiana was also in action on Thursday, but it was handed an 80-69 loss on the road by Arkansas-Little Rock. The Ragin' Cajuns have dropped three straight and four of their last five overall, falling to 12-9 on the season and 3-5 in conference. They get right back on the road for their next two bouts against Texas-Arlington and Texas State.
Tylor Ongwae led four players in double figures with 17 points to push ULM past Arkansas State. The Warhawks connected on 46.3 percent of their shots from the floor, while outscoring the Red Wolves a staggering 40-10 in the paint.
Ongwae (16.2 ppg) is used to doing the heavy lifting on offense for the Warhawks, as he is the leader among a pair of double-digit scorers. Amos Olatayo (13.2 ppg) is the other, but he missed the ASU game and is listed as questionable for this bout with a sprained right knee. Marvin Williams (8.6 ppg) stepped up his game in Olatayo's absence on Thursday, finishing with 16 points. Jayon James (9.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 4.4 apg) is a well-rounded player. He proved it on Thursday, scoring nine points, collecting seven rebounds and dishing seven assists.
Louisiana entered halftime tied with UALR 39-39, but the Cajuns couldn't keep up in the second half. They only connected on 37.7 percent of their shots from the floor in the final 20 minutes, while the Trojans improved from 38.5 percent to 55.6 percent.
The Ragin' Cajuns were missing one of their most important players on Thursday, as leading scorer and rebounder Shawn Long (20.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 3 bpg) was held out for undisclosed reasons. His status remains uncertain for Saturday's duel, which would obviously be a major loss as he leads the Sun Belt in both rebounds and blocks. Elfrid Payton (19.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 6 apg) is another strong performer, who will have to shoulder even more of the load if Long is out. He was able to score 20 points and match five rebounds with as many assists in Thursday's loss.
Last time these teams met it took two overtimes for them to settle their differences. Now that Louisiana has the homecourt edge, expect it to come out on top, even if Long is unable to go.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana 75, ULM 69
02/01 11:55:04 ET
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