Recap: Louisiana vs. North Texas
Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Brandan Walton drained a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining to lift the fifth-seeded North Texas Mean Green to a 65-62 victory over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns in the quarterfinal round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at the Convention Center.
Walton finished with a team-high 16 points for North Texas (17-13), while Alzee Williams chipped in 14 points. Jacob Holmen and Roger Franklin scored 10 points each. Tony Mitchell pulled down 10 rebounds to help the Mean Green advance to the semifinal round on Monday, where they will face the ninth-seed, Arkansas State, which upset No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee this evening.
The fourth-seeded Ragin' Cajuns (16-15) were led by Josh Brown as he netted 14 points. Elfrid Payton scored 13 points, dished out nine assists, and grabbed right rebounds. Bryant Mbamalu added 11 points and Darshawn McClellan chipped in 10 points as Louisiana was eliminated.
North Texas took a 30-29 lead into the intermission after a closely contested opening period. Neither team shot the ball very well, as the Mean Green made 33.3 percent of their field goals and The Ragin' Cajuns shot 38.7 percent from the floor in the first half.
Louisiana continued to battle in the second half, which was a back-and-forth affair just like the first. The lead changed hands 12 times in the final 20 minutes of play. The Mean Green trailed 62-60 with less than two minutes remaining. Franklin made a key defensive play to prevent Louisiana from extending its lead, and the Mean Green tied it up 62-62 on the following possession. Louisiana had a chance, but was unable to score after Walton's three-pointer.
The lead changed hands 20 times and the score was tied on 15 different occasions in this very competitive matchup.Game Notes