Louisiana (9-10, 3-2 Sun Belt) fell behind 73-71 with 3:06 left in the extra session after a Deric Hill three-pointer. Brown countered with triple 17 seconds later to give the Cajuns the lead for good.
After Tanner Wozniak misfired on a three-point attempt for FIU (4-13, 1-4 Sun Belt) on the ensuing possession, Darshawn McClellan found Brown on the left wing for another trey which increased the lead to 77-73.
UL put the game out of reach when McClellan stole an entry pass from Hill with 2:05 on the clock and Kadeem Coleby grabbed a second offensive rebound on the other end and converted a layup with 1:35 remaining for a 79-73 edge.
From that point on the Cajuns finished off the Panthers at the charity stripe, knocking down 8-of-12 attempts to seal the victory and keep the team from suffering back-to-back conference losses at the Cajundome.
McClellan led the way with a game-and career-high 28 points, scoring 25 in regulation. He easily bested his previous career-high of 11 points scored at Vanderbilt in the 2009-10 season doing so on 9-of-12 shooting (4-of-6 from three-point range).
Brown added a game-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
FIU had three players reach double figures led by Jeremy Allen’s 22 points.
UL stayed within two games of Sun Belt West division leader UALR which improved to 5-0 in SBC play with a win over Arkansas State in Jonesboro. The Ragin’ Cajuns and Trojans (8-11, 5-0 SBC) meet in Little Rock on Thursday at 7 p.m., for the first leg of the Arkansas road swing that Louisiana embarks on next week.
UL turned to the hot hand of McClellan in the opening minutes of the second stanza to stretch the lead to nine points. McClellan knocked down two triples in the opening minutes with the second increasing the lead to 43-34 at 17:19.
FIU wouldn’t go away as Allen converted three-point baskets on the visitor’s next two touches to trim the UL lead to 43-40.
The Cajuns defense put the clamps on FIU’s offense after a Dominique Ferguson layup at 13:55 made it 47-44. UL held FIU without a field goal make over the next four minutes and rattled off a 10-4 run to stretch the lead to 57-48 inside of nine minutes to play.
Louisiana grabbed a double-digit lead with 7:56 remaining following a McClellan three-point play which provided a 60-50 margin.
Brown upped the Cajuns advantage to 64-53 at 5:56 with a dunk off a missed three-pointer by Taylor, but the hosts would get only one field goal make and missed four free throws the remainder of the half allowing FIU to roll off the 15-4 run which forced the extra session.
Louisiana improved to 16-5 all-time vs. FIU and picked up their eight straight regular season win over the Panthers at the Cajundome (9-2 at Cajundome vs. FIU).
The Cajuns also wrapped up a stretch in which the team began Sun Belt play with five consecutive games against SBC East division foes. Starting with the UALR game next Thursday, 10 of the final 11 SBC games are against SBC West divisional foes.
McClellan scored nine points in the first 3 ½ minutes of play to spark the Cajuns to a 12-8 lead. Brown collected a steal and raced home for a slam dunk at 15:34 which upped the lead to 14-8.
Dierickx converted a jumper for the Panthers at 15:21 to cut the deficit to 14-10. The score remained the same through the 12:41 mark until Allen hit the front-end of a two-shot foul. UL missed four free throws during the scoreless stretch.
A Brown jumper at 11:35 upped the UL lead to 16-11. A Taylor triple at 11:12 and Moore basket at 9:48 drew the Panthers even at 16-all.
Thompson broke the tie at the 9:01 mark when he buried a three-pointer for a 19-16 Cajuns lead. Hill pulled FIU within one point, 19-18, at 7:21. The teams would trade three-point makes over the next four possessions and the Cajuns lead remained one point, 25-24, with 4:51 remaining in the opening half.
Thomas hit two free throws following the under-seven timeout then a triple by McClellan at the 3:17 mark increased the lead to 30-24.
A four-point Panthers run off the hands of Dierickx made it 30-28 as the clock dipped under two minutes in the opening stanza. The Cajuns couldn’t break free as the Panthers answered each scoring opportunity down the stretch and the halftime lead was 35-32.