LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) Noah Freidel hit two 3-pointers in the final two minutes, Terrence Edwards led all scorers with 19 points and T.J. Bickerstaff had 14 points and 11 rebounds as No. 19 James Madison remained undefeated with a physical 68-61 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday night.

The Dukes (14-0, 2-0 Sun Belt) went on a 14-0 run midway through the second half to open a 49-40 lead and snap the Cajuns' 19-game home wining streak. Bickerstaff scored nine of his points during the run.

“We got in rhythm in the second half,” James Madison coach Mark Byington said. “The first half we had a lot of good shots right around the rim, but just couldn’t finish. We started pressing, taking bad ones. When the good ones won’t go in, you start taking bad ones, but in the second half we found that rhythm and we put the game away.”

Ragin’ Cajuns coach Bob Marlin said despite the loss, he thought his team played well. The Cajuns held a lead for the majority of the game.

"We played really good defense, but rebounding was a problem,” Marlin said. “We’ve got to clean that up as the season progresses.”

A physical game that featured multiple tough fouls, ended with a scuffle as both teams headed to their respective locker rooms. Marlin said emotions heated up, but he wasn’t quite clear on what started it.

“I know (James Madison) was chippy in the handshake line,” Marlin said. “They were talking a little bit and it appeared like one of their players who was in street clothes began cursing. That’s when our guys rallied and ran out, but I’m not really sure exactly what happened.”

James Madison outrebounded the Cajuns 46-31. The Dukes opened the game on 1-of-12 shooting, but the Cajuns (7-7, 0-2) never led by more than eight points. Despite the Cajuns having four in double figures, led by Kentrell Garnett’s 17 points, Marlin said his team’s inability to make shots was the difference.

“We could have had a much bigger lead in the first half,” said Marlin. The Cajuns led 23-22 at the half. “I feel like we should have been up eight or 10, but we gave it back to them."

Kobe Julien added 15 points and Kitenge Hosana had 11. Themus Fulks, who averaged 11.6 points per game coming into Thursday, finished with eight points on 4-of-14 shooting. Joe Charles had a game-high 15 rebounds.

After an early 3-2 lead, the Dukes were behind in the game until 11:54 to play. With the Dukes up 58-57, Freidel, who finished the game with 11 points, hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to open up a seven-point lead.

“It’s a big win, but it’s already behind us,” Byington said. “We are moving on to Southern Miss and we know they’re going to be tough. Last year we were in this boat with a hard-fought win and then facing Southern Miss. We know it’s going to be another tough one Saturday.”


James Madison: At Southern Mississippi on on Saturday.

Louisiana-Lafayette: Hosts Coastal Carolina on Saturday.


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