ULL finishes undefeated in Spain

Staff Report

MADRID, Spain — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team wrapped up its Spain tour undefeated, topping Eurocolgio Casvi, 90-54, Saturday evening for a 4-0 finish during a five-day span.

Shawn Long led the Cajuns with his first double-double of the tour, scoring 28 points and recording 12 rebounds. Long also blocked three shots.

The Cajuns used a late first-half adjustment to overtake Casvi and turn on the burners en route to a 36-point victory.

Casvi led the Cajuns 17-13 after the first quarter, hitting three of their first four three-pointers to start the game. They extended their lead to 21-15 a few minutes into the second quarter before the Cajuns ramped up their defensive pressure and caused Casvi’s hot-shooting offense to run cold.

“It definitely will help us down the road,” ULL coach Bob Marlin said in a news release about the team facing adversity for the first time of the trip. “There were some lineups that we used on the trip and especially today that were a little bit different. It will all pay off.”

A free throw by Long gave the Cajuns a 26-25 lead in the middle of the second quarter, and Louisiana didn’t look back.

“We just ran the floor hard.” Marlin said of the adjustments when trailing. “Defensively, we did a very good job at protecting the baskets. We only gave them one shot and then scored in transition.”

The Cajuns went into the locker room leading 42-32, ending the quarter on a 27-11 run.

It was all Louisiana from then on, with stingy defense and a high-tempo offensive attack. The Cajuns held Casvi to just 22 points in the second half and ULL scored 48 points.

Eleven of 12 Cajuns scored in the contest.

Elfrid Payton was second on the team in scoring with 10 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists.

J.J. Davenport tied Long in rebounds with 12. He also scored eight points, including a 4-for-4 performance at the free throw line while the game was close in the second quarter.

As a team, the Cajuns shot .783 (18-for-23) from the charity stripe.

The four wins on the tour highlighted a 10-day trip in which the Cajuns spent time in Barcelona, Valencia, Albacete and Madrid.

The squad spent time touring the cities, learning about the culture and exploring each city as they pleased.

“It was a great educational experience for our team,” Marlin said. “To get to see the sights and the different cities is really a blessing. We are fortunate to have made this happen. Like a lot of teams that have used these foreign trips before, and a couple teams in our league are on them, it will help down the road with team bonding and chemistry issues.”

The Cajuns now will have a few months to regroup and prepare for the start of their 2013-14 season.

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