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Sun Belt Finals Recap

March 11, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Sun Belt Finals Recap

Recap by Zach Van Hart

No. 1 Louisiana Lafayette 67, No. 3 New Orleans 58
Plenty of moments told the story of the Ragin’ Cajuns win Tuesday night. When Brandon Boyd hit a transition three-pointer at the seven-minute mark, giving Louisiana Lafayette its biggest lead of the game at the time, eleven. When the Privateers had a chance to cut the lead to eleven with 3:30 remaining, attempted four shots from point blank range and missed them all. When Bo McCalebb scored a meaningless layup during the final minute, only his ninth point of the game. But the moment that told the story best was once the final buzzer sounded and the Ragin’ Cajuns huddled at halfcourt, having achieved the dream of every small school in Division I every season – advance to the NCAA Tournament. After trailing for most of the first half, up to eight points, the Cajuns grabbed a three-point lead by halftime and gradually built its lead up during the second half.

Senior Boyd led Lafayette with fifteen points, going 5-of-12 from the field, including the back-breaker three-point basket during the second half. He hit four three-pointers on the game. Antoine Landry scored sixteen points, one of four Cajuns to hit double figures. Laurie Bridges also contributed eight points and twelve rebounds. Johnell Smith led the Privateers with eleven points, while Kyle Buggs was the only other player to score double figures, with ten. New Orleans, and their star McCalebb, struggled mightily from the field during the second half, as they watched their first half lead trickle away like a slow death. UNO shot 33 percent from the field for the game, including 3-of-21 from beyond the arc, while McCalebb shot 3-of-14. After a great run by the Privateers, the Cajuns proved to be too much down the stretch and come next week will get its shot to become the 2004 Cinderella.

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