LAKE CHARLES – McNeese opened up the game on a 15-0 run and never looked back as four Cowboys scored in double-figures while all active players on the roster scored to guide McNeese to a 96-73 win over Southern-New Orleans on Sunday afternoon to pick up its first win of the season.
Kalob Ledoux scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the second half and Stephen Ugochukwu recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jarren Greenwood and AJ Brown added 13 points apiece.
“This was a good win for our team,” said head coach Dave Simmons. “The kids came back after a disappointing loss (to Louisiana College) and came back with a lot of energy. We played with an up-tempo pace, which we needed to do. We had some great performances. Everybody who suited up played and scored.”
Jamaya Burr flirted with a double-double with nine points and eight assists and also pulled in five rebounds.
“He really had a great game for us,” said Simmons. “We weren’t sure if he was going to be able to go because of an ankle injury he suffered against Louisiana College. But he came out and played hard.
“I thought AJ (Brown) had the best game of his career. It was good to see several guys come up big.”
It was a game of runs in the first half.
McNeese (1-2) scored the first 15 points of the game before SUNO scored the next 13 points to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 15-13. But McNeese followed that with a 16-0 run behind a 3 from Burr and back-to-back 3s from Richard Laku to put the Cowboys up 31-13 with just over six minutes to play in the half.
“Richard (Laku) really got our bench fired up by knocking down three 3s in a row,” said Simmons. “We’ve been waiting for him to break out and today he did by showing everyone the kind of shooter he his.”
McNeese led 47-26 at the half and built up a 31-point lead after a couple of Jacob Ledoux free throws with 10:31 to play to put his team up 74-43.
SUNO, led in scoring by Milan Viago and Kenneth Thomas with 14 points each, got back-to-back threes from Marcel Daniels with under five minutes to play to close the gap to 20 points at 85-65 but Kalob Ledoux took charge in the final three minutes by scoring 7 of the Cowboys’ final 11 points of the game to help seal the win.
McNeese shot 51.6 percent from the field (33 of 64) and hit 39.1 from long range (9-23) and was 21 of 30 at the free throw line for 70 percent. The Cowboys held a 46-33 advantage in rebounds and dished out 19 assists on 33 shots made. McNeese hit 18 of 31 for 58 percent in the second half.
The Cowboys also scored 26 second chance points and got 53 points from their bench.
SUNO hit 24 of 62 from the field for 38.7 percent and was 9 of 23 for 39.1 percent from 3-point range. The Knights also knocked down 16 of 23 at the free throw line.