Cubans use late run to defeat Cajuns

HAVANA — Johnathan Stove scored 13 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, but Cuba’s Jasiel Rivero scored 18 of his game-high 24 points after halftime and helped the Cuban National Team pull away for an 81-71 victory over the Louisiana-Lafayette men’s basketball team on Thursday.

Malik Marquetti added 13 points for Louisiana-Lafayette, which led 24-21 after the first quarter, before Cuba rallied to take a 34-32 lead at halftime. Rivero, who finished 8-for-13 from the floor and 7-for-10 from the free throw line, scored eight points in the third quarter as the Cubans built a 56-52 lead after the third quarter before he and Karel Guzman combined to score 19 of Cuba’s 25 points in the fourth.

Stove continued his solid play during the Cajuns tour of Cuba after scoring a team-high 17 points on Tuesday. The senior finished 5-for-8 from the floor and was 8-for-10 from the free throw line.

Louisiana-Lafayette, which finished 3-for-18 from behind the 3-point line, finished 25-for-58 (43 percent) against the more experienced and more physical Cuban team. Cuba, which finished 4-for-15 from behind the 3-point line in Tuesday’s opener, finished 8-for-18 from long range on Wednesday with Guzman going 3-for-5 from behind the 3-point line.

Guzman finished with 18 points for Cuba while Neisler Abreu added 14. Bryce Washington and Justin Miller scored nine points each for Louisiana-Lafayette with P.J. Hardy and Frank Bartley adding six each.

Both teams will return to action on Thursday for the third of three games at 8 a.m. CDT.

Advocate news services, The Acadania Advocate

August 9, 2017

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