Monroe beats Lafayette, 1st time in 4 years

MONROE, La. (AP) — Daishon Smith made all 13 of his free throws and scored 27 points and Michael Ertel added a career-high 23 points to propel Louisiana Monroe to a 99-95 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.

Smith added eight assists and seven rebounds for the Warhawks (10-7, 3-2 Sun Belt Conference), who beat the Ragin’ Cajuns (11-7, 2-3) for the first time in four years. Ertel knocked down 4 of 6 from 3-point range as UL Monroe connected on 12 of 30 from distance. JD Williams pitched in with 15 points and nine rebounds, Andre Washington scored 12 with seven boards and Travis Munnings finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and five steals.

Smith had 14 points and Ertel 11 in the first half to help the Warhawks take a 53-39 lead into intermission.

JaKeenan Gant scored 18 of his 31 points in the second half as ULL fought back to pull within 64-58 on PJ Hardy’s 3-pointer with 12:31 left to play but the Ragin’ Cajuns would get no closer.

Gant added 10 rebounds for Louisiana-Lafayette for his fourth straight double-double and seventh of the season. Hardy added a career-high 24 points, while Cedric Russell and Marcus Stroman scored 14 and 13, respectively.