Louisiana-Lafayette’s Kadeem Coleby missed a tip-in at the buzzer as San Francisco escaped with the 71-70 win in the finale of the Hilltop Challenge Sunday.
“It says something about our guys when we’re winning a little bit ugly,” San Francisco head coach Rex Walters said.
Sophomore Cody Doolin ended up the hero after nearly becoming the goat.
Doolin committed a foul with 42 seconds remaining that sent Elfrid Payton to the line, who hit two free throws to give Louisiana-Lafayette (1-2) a 70-69 lead.
Following a timeout, Doolin, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds, drove to the basket and laid it in to give San Francisco a 71-70 lead with 18 seconds left.
“I wouldn’t have been upset with Cody about the foul, I was upset about a loose ball we didn’t get,” Walters said. “Cody’s been pretty good in those situations.”
The Dons (2-1) led by as much as 11 points late in the first half before coughing it up in the second half.
The Ragin’ Cajuns went on a 12-4 run early in the second half and took a 43-40 lead.
Angelo Caloiaro had his first double-double of the season with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“Even when his shot’s not going, he brings so much to the table in winning plays,” Walters said.
The Dons held Louisiana-Lafayette to 37 percent shooting and 21 percent form beyond the arc.
Cole Dickerson provided a much-needed spark off the bench for the second consecutive night with nine points and four rebounds.
“He hit some big shots for us,” Walters said. “He’s just growing as a player.”
Both teams lost to North Dakota State (3-0) during the course of the Hilltop Challenge.
J.J. Thomas led Louisiana-Lafayette with 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns’ bench outscored the Dons 42-28.
By the numbers:
12: Number of lead changes in the game.
11: San Francisco’s largest lead of the game (3:06 left in the first half)
65: San Francisco’s free throw percentage
100: Louisiana-Lafayette’s free throw percentage
19: Number of Ragin’ Cajun assists. Dons had 10.
Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @ZFarmerExaminer