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Millsap Named Sun Belt's Freshman of the Year, Dees on Third Team
LAFAYETTE – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns guard Elijah Millsap, who attended Grambling (Louisiana) High School, was named the 2007 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year.
Millsap has seen action in 22 games with 17 starts and leads all freshmen in the conference in scoring (12.0 ppg.) and rebounding (7.2 rpg.). His rebounding total ranks 5th in the conference for all players.
Millsap scored double figures 15 times out of 22 games played and pulled down at least five rebounds 16 times hitting double figures seven times.
Millsap had a string of 12 straight games scoring double digits from Dec. 28 through Feb. 8. In 18 Sun Belt games played in, he scored double figures 15 times.
Fellow teammate David Dees was a member of the 15-player all-conference team. Dees, a junior transfer from Liberty University, was named to the third team.
Dees leads the Cajuns in free throws made, defensive rebounds and assists and ranks second on the squad in scoring average (17.1 points per game). He has averaged at least 17 points per game the entire season and scored double figures in 23 of 28 games played.
Dees ranks sixth in the Sun Belt averaging 17.1 points per game and 17th in the league in rebounding averaging 5.4 rebound per game.
Millsap is the first Cajuns player since Michael Southall (2002) to be named the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year.
Dees’ selection to the All-Sun Belt team extended the Cajuns’ steak of having at least one all-conference player to 12 straight seasons.Most Recent Recap...Ragin' Cajuns vs. North Texas...Feb. 28, 2007
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DENTON, Texas - In the regular season matchups with North Texas the Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team was able to control the Mean Green’s perimeter game leading to two near misses.
On Wednesday evening in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, the Mean Green hit six triples in the first stanza opening as much as a 19 point lead and went on to post a 93-78 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette at The Super Pit.
The loss eliminated the Ragin’ Cajuns (9-21) from the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. With the victory North Texas advances to the quarterfinals to meet Louisiana-Monroe at the Cajundome on Sunday, March 4.
David Dees led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 24 points while Elijah Millsap added 21 points.
The Mean green was paced by 24 points from Kendrick Davis. Davis had 21 points in the first half helping the Mean Green open a 50-41 edge at intermission. Michael Sturns scored 16 and Harold Stewart had 10 points coming off the bench for NT.
The Cajuns scored first when Adam James hit two free throws at 18:55. The Mean Green answered quickly as they pushed the ball up the floor and found Wooden on the baseline for a slam dunk after he worked his way around James.
After a UL miss NT went in transition and Bell drew a foul on his way to the basket. He hit the first free throw making it 3-2. Bell missed the second and a scramble occurred with each team turning the ball over. On UL’s turnover the Mean Green found Davis for a long-range triple that upped the lead to 6-2.
The Ragin’ Cajuns responded with five points over a 20-second span on their next two touches. A triple from Millsap at 17:26 followed by a basket by Mouton gave UL a 7-6 lead at 17:06.
Davis gave NT the lead at 16:53 when he buried his second three-pointer of the game.
Louisiana-Lafayette then used a 6-0 run by the 15:04 mark to open its largest lead in the early stages at 13-9. Millsap pulled the Cajuns even at 9-all when he hit a leaner off the backboard just before the first media timeout.
After the timeout, it was Millsap hitting a fadeaway jumper at 15:26 putting the Cajuns back in front 11-9. After a defensive stop the Cajuns went inside to Courtney Wallace who muscled his way to a layup that increased the lead to 13-9.
Watson broke the UL run on the ensuing possession when he hit a running hook shot in the lane at 14:48. Nearly one minute later it was Michael Sturns hitting a three-pointer at 13:51 giving the hosts a 14-13 edge.
The Mean Green lead was back at one point, 16-15, after Rhett Hebert ran behind the NT defense through the lane for a layup at 11:57.
NT then outscored the Ragin’ Cajuns 15-2 run over the next three-plus minutes to open the first double-digit lead of the evening.
It started with back-to-back baskets from Bell the first at 11:47 upping the lead to 18-15. On the Mean Green’s next trip down the court Bell was heading up a 2-on-1 opportunity when he faked a behind-the-back pass and went past Mouton for a layup making it 20-15.
When Quincy Williams worked around a block from James drawing a foul, hitting the basket and the free throw the Mean Green’s edge was pushed to 23-15 with 10:00 remaining before the half.
Dees broke the Mean Green’s run hitting two free throws at 9:55 cutting the deficit to 23-17, but North Texas reeled off eight straight points by the 8:22 mark to increase its lead to 31-17.
Dees hit his first three-pointer of the evening at 8:09 and the lead was down to 31-20. A Millsap basket in the lane at 6:54 saw the Cajuns get back into single digits at 31-22.
Davis returned the NT lead to double figures at 6:37 when he hit a jumper. Then after a UL turnover it was Davis in the left corner for another three-pointer that pushed the lead to 36-22.
Dees scored inside at 5:44 and the NT lead was 36-24. North Texas then started a 7-0 run, jumpstarted by Davis’ fourth three-pointer of the contest and the hosts were out to their largest lead of the opening stanza at 43-24 with 4:53 on the clock.
The Ragin’ Cajuns started chipping away at the Mean Green’s lead as Mouton would hit two baskets while being fouled before the four-minute mark expired accounting for six unanswered points all by himself trimming the NT lead to 43-30.
At 3:56 Williams hit two free throws to break the Cajuns’ run and give NT a 45-30 edge.
Dees took his turn at provided the Cajuns with offense as he accounted for five consecutive points helping UL close to 10 points at 45-35 by the 3:04 mark.
Davis’ fifth triple of the half came at 1:04 and gave the Mean Green a 50-37 lead.
Hebert drew a shooting foul at 42 seconds and made both free throws and it was 50-39.
The Cajuns defense forced a turnover on the ensuing possession getting the ball back with 23 seconds. Valentino Hart was in reach of the basketball after a deflected pass and converted the layup as the horn sounded allowing the Cajuns to close the deficit to single digits at 50-41 at the break.
The Mean Green bolted out of the locker room with four points before the first minute expired. Williams got an easy slam of a blow defensive assignment and on the Cajuns first possession he stole the ball from Willie Lago and ran it back for a slam upping the lead to 54-41.
The Ragin’ Cajuns then answered with nine straight points capped off by a three-pointer from Dees at 17:06 that cut the deficit down to 54-50 prompting a NT timeout with exactly 17 minutes remaining.
The Mean Green came back from the timeout getting a basket from Watson at 16:48 making it 56-50. The Cajuns executed the transition game and Hebert found James on the low post for a layup 12 seconds later getting it back to four points at 56-52.
The Cajuns defense forced a missed shot, but the rebound came back to the Mean Green and Watson happened to be wide open in the left corner for a three-point make that made it 59-52 at 16:07.
Back-to-back Cajuns turnovers led to two free throws made by Harold Stewart and the NT lead was 61-52 by the 15:06 mark.
Millsap missed a short-range jumper and the Mean Green pushed the ball back up the court where Stewart converted a second-chance basket at 14:50 and the lead returned to double figures 63-52.
Following a UL timeout, the Cajuns missed another shot and Stewart was in the right place on a second-chance opportunity for a layup that increased the Mean Green’s advantage to 65-52 with 14:20 remaining.
Mouton made his first triple of the evening at 14:04 and the lead was down to 65-55. The Cajuns would force NT into back-to-back turnovers, but couldn’t capitalize and two free throws from Sturns increased the lead to 67-55 at 12:46.
Both teams swapped a pair of free throw makes before the clocked moved below 12 minutes and the NT lead was 69-57.
The Cajuns had a chance to answer back, but would miss two shots on their next possession. After the second miss the Mean Green converted an alley-oop dunk with Stewart on the receiving end for the slam upping the lead to 71-57 at 11:48.
UL fell behind by 16 points, 75-59, at 9:37 when Watson knocked down a jumper from 19 feet.
The Cajuns would work the lead down to 12 points before 9:00 as Millsap hit a jumper on the right wing and after a NT missed shot the Millsap dumped the ball inside to Dees for an inside basket at 9:00 that trimmed the Mean Green edge to 75-63.
The Mean Green would move their lead back to 15 points at 78-63. The Cajuns worked the deficit back down to 12 points getting a free throw from Hart at 7:15 and then a Millsap basket at 6:59.
As would become a theme down the stretch, each time the Cajuns got the deficit down to 12 points the Mean Green would answer with a basket. It was Davis with a three-pointer at 6:44 that stretched the lead to 81-66.
UL would trim the NT lead to 12 points on a few more occasions, but each time the hosts responded with points that kept the lead from getting any lower.
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