Cajuns try to rebound against Arkansas State

LAFAYETTE — Coming off a 91-89 double-overtime loss to South Alabama on Thursday, the Louisiana-Lafayette men’s basketball team tries to get back on track Saturday when they host Arkansas State to start the second round of Sun Belt Conference play.

Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m. at the Cajundome.

The Cajuns, whose lineup has five freshmen and four sophomores, are led by freshman forward Shawn Long (15.7 points per game, 9.5 rebounds per game), junior Bryant Mbamalu (14 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and sophomore Elfrid Payton (14.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg).

Long, a Mississippi State transfer, had 14 points and 14 rebounds against South Alabama. His 9.5 rebounds per game ranks third nationally among freshman.

ULL (6-12, 2-5 Sun Belt) leads the series 42-23 against Arkansas State (10-6, 4-3). Arkansas State won the last meeting 87-70 on Dec. 27 in Jonesboro, Ark.

The game will serve as the annual “Take A Kid To A Game Day” with children 12 and under being admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

NICHOLLS STATE AT SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA: In Hammond, the Colonels and Lions bring 2-1 Southland Conference records to the University Center to continue their rivalry.

Tip-off at 4 p.m.

The Colonels, winners of two of the past three games, are 3-10 overall after slipping past McNeese State 64-63 on Monday in Lake Charles. Southeastern (4-9) is coming off a 67-63 win over Lamar in Beaumont, Texas.

Colonels junior Dantrell Thomas, who averages 14.3 points per game, is scoring at a 15.0 ppg clip in conference play. Thomas scored 24 against McNeese, and has led Nicholls in scoring in three of the past four games. Nicholls also got a big game from Fred Hunter, who finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Hunter, who missed last season with an injury, leads Nicholls State in scoring (16.4), rebounds (7.3) and steals (17). Thomas is next in scoring for the Colonels at 14.3 points, followed by T.J. Carpenter (12.8).

The Lions are led by fifth-year guard Brandon Fortenberry, who missed much of last season with a foot injury. Fortenberry has started all 13 games this season and averages 12.8 ppg. Roosevelt Johnson scores 11.1 points per game, while also leading SLU with 7.7 rebounds per game.

TULANE AT SMU: In Dallas, the Green Wave will look to rebound from a Conference USA-opening loss to UTEP on Wednesday as they visit the Mustangs for a 2 p.m. tip-off at Moody Coliseum.

The Green Wave (12-4, 0-1) had its five-game winning streak snapped in the 66-57 loss to UTEP. SMU (10-7, 0-2) is coming off a 78-67 loss to Houston on Wednesday.

Tulane enters the game with C-USA’s top scoring defense, which allows 57.2 points per game. The Green Wave is led in scoring by junior forward Josh Davis, who leads the league with 17.6 points per game and 10.2 rebounds. Sophomore guard Ricky Tarrant adds 14.8 points per game and 2.7 assists.

Guard Jalen Jones leads SMU with 15.0 points and 8.4 rebounds. Guard Nick Russell adds 13.9 ppg and a team-best 4.1 assists.

CHAMPION BAPTIST AT UNO: In New Orleans, the Privateers return to the Lakefront Arena for the first time in a month as they take on Champion Baptist at noon.

UNO (3-11) last played at home on Dec. 12 in a 79-76 win over Nicholls State. Since that game, the Privateers have lost six straight games.

Lovell Cook, who had 20 points and nine rebounds on Tuesday in a 71-64 loss to San Jose State, leads the Privateers in scoring with a 13.6-point average.

CBC (4-17) is led by Brandon Likins, who averages 31.7 points, 11.7 rebounds. Likins averages more than 25 field goal attempts per game.

Women

NICHOLLS STATE AT SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA: In Hammond, the Lady Lions will be looking for their first Southland Conference win of the season when they host the Lady Colonels, one of the league’s hottest teams.

Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in the University Center.

SLU (7-7, 0-3) is coming off a 58-49 loss to Lamar as the Lady Lions committed 32 turnovers. Aja Gibson, one of two SLU players in double figures, averages 11.4 points per game. Brandi Simmons scores at a 10.4 point clip per game.

Nicholls State is coming off a 78-61 win over McNeese State. The Colonels snapped a 10-game losing streak to McNeese State by putting six players in double figures and holding the Cowgirls to less than 30 percent shooting.

Alisha Allen leads a balanced Colonels attack with 14.5 points per game. KK Babbin is next at 12.4 points per contest. Babin, a former St. Michael star, averages 4.6 assists per game.

HOUSTON BAPTIST AT UNO: The Lady Privateers will get another glimpse into the future of the Southland Conference as the Huskies visit Lakefront Arena at 2 p.m. Both teams will join the SLC next season.

UNO (1-14) is led by Keri Thomas, who averages 12.5 points per game. Mathilde Fogelstrom leads the Lady Privateers with 8.1 rebounds per game.

Stanice Streenholdt leads Houston Baptist (3-13) in scoring (17.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.9 rpg).