Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Elfrid Payton tallied 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns held off the Texas- Arlington Mavericks for a 92-89 decision in a Sun Belt Conference battle at College Park Center.
Shawn Long pumped in 31 points to go along with eight rebounds for Louisiana (14-9, 5-5 Sun Belt). Hayward Register added 17 points off the bench while Elridge Moore pulled down 10 boards.
The Mavericks (9-13, 4-6) came up short despite a stellar outing by Lonnie McClanahan, con provided 31 points, 11 boards and seven assists. Jamel Outler contributed 19 points and Reger Dowell had 11 points. Brandon Edwards posted nine points and 14 rebounds as UTA suffered its third consecutive setback.
The Ragin' Cajuns took a 49-34 lead into the intermission after they connected on 50 percent of their field goal attempts including 6-of-12 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes of the contest. UTA managed to make only 1- of-7 tries from beyond the arc in the first half.
The Mavericks battled back as they heated up to sink 52.5 percent of their shots from the floor after the break. Louisiana allowed the hosts to narrow the margin on the scoreboard as it converted only 10-of-25 attempts at the free-throw line in the second period. UTA trailed, 91-82, with only 31 seconds left in regulation before a late rally effort. Outler made a 3-pointer with four seconds left to narrow the deficit to two points with only seconds remaining, but time expired before the Mavericks were able to attempt another shot.
Louisiana finished 19-of-37 at the charity stripe while UTA converted 19 of its 31 free-throw attempts. The Ragin' Cajuns' bench outscored the Mavericks' reserves, 27-10.