Louisiana pulls away in 2nd half, secures conference title

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) Jerekius Davis came off the bench to post a career-high 18 points before the break as Louisiana gradually pulled away in the second period to beat South Alabama 88-71 for its fifth consecutive Sun Belt Conference win on Saturday night.

Louisiana (25-4, 15-1) which clinched the conference regular-season title, tied the school record with its 25th victory. The Ragin’ Cajuns will have a first-round bye and start the conference tournament on March 9. South Alabama (14-15, 7-9) will play in the opening round on March 7.

Davis and Nick Davis had a shooting battle in the first half as Nick Davis drilled five from distance to tally 17 points before intermission. Jerekius Davis was 6 of 8 from the floor, hitting 3 of 3 from beyond the arc as Louisiana led 45-43 at the break. Both were quiet in the second half as Jerekius Davis finished with 20 points.

Johnathan Stove had 14 of his 16 points in the final half as Louisiana led 73-56 with 8:15 remaining.

Frank Bartley IV had 17 points and Bryce Washington chipped in 11 with 13 rebounds for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Nick Davis led South Alabama with a career-high 20 points and Rodrick Sikes added 14.