Cajuns Complete Comeback on Senior Night, Bob Marlin Sets Sun Belt Wins Record
It was in the Cajundome Monday, as Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun basketball team earned a come-from-behind 76-74 win over UT-Arlington on Senior Night, while head coach Bob Marlin moved to the top of the Sun Belt in all-time conference wins with 118.
"I'm so proud of our players for fighting through adversity and getting it done," said Marlin. "This is a good team (we played)...we just found a way, and the seniors really went out and played hard."
The two seniors Cedric Russell and Dou Gueye both had huge nights, wanting to do whatever it took to procure a victory on a night dedicated to them.
"It's all about our team. It's all about staying together," said Gueye. "We're family out here. "
Louisiana stuck together for 40 minutes, erasing an 11 point deficit midway through the second half.
"I told myself at the under 12-minute timeout (of the second half), I'm not going out like this on Senior Night," explained Russell. "I had (my mind) made up, I'm not going out like that in my last game, possibly my last game here (at the Cajundome)."
Russell finished with 26, while Gueye added 18 and 7 rebounds, making big plays in crunch time.
"A great Senior Night for those two," added Marlin. "Dou Gueye had a heck of a rebound late in the ballgame. I was just really proud of the guys working hard, hanging on, and beating a good team tonight."
Marlin's 118th Sun Belt victory moved him past Kermit Davis Jr. for most all-time, a milestone not lost on the team.
"He's a great coach, a great person, and a great man," said Russell. "That's a big milestone for him, and I'm glad we were part of that piece of the puzzle, and the team to give him (that final piece)."
Soaked in water during his postgame Zoom press conference, the players emptied water bottles on Marlin for a celebratory dousing as soon as he entered the locker room following the historic win.
"(The Sun Belt wins record) happens because we've got an administration that believes in our program," said Marlin. "The people on my staff. We've had a great administration, a great staff, and great players."
With the victory, Louisiana improved to 15-7 on the season, and 9-6 in Sun Belt play, currently 2nd best in the Sun Belt West.
The Ragin' Cajuns are set to play Little Rock on the road this Friday and Saturday to close out the regular season, aiming to finish in 2nd place in the West, as the top two seeds in each division earn a bye in the conference tournament.
"The more important thing (tonight) is this team, getting the win, and trying to move up in the seeding for Pensacola (site of Sun Belt Conference tournament)," added Marlin.
Louisiana's matchup on Friday at Little Rock is scheduled for 6:30. The radio pregame show will begin at 6:00 on Classic Rock 105.1.