LAKE CHARLES – Lance Potier scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds but McNeese turned the ball over 21 times and squandered away a double-digit first half lead as Southland Conference co-leader New Orleans downed the Cowboys, 69-63, here Thursday night.
The loss was the second straight by McNeese, who fell to 7-16 overall and 4-8 in league play, as UNO (14-9, 9-3) swept the season series from the Cowboys.
Jamaya Burr added 13 points coming off the bench to lead McNeese while James Harvey scored 11.
Erik Thomas led the Privateers with 16 points while Michael Zeno scored 15 and Jorge Rosa 14.
In a low scoring first half, McNeese jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first four minutes of the game behind a 3-pointer by Kalob Ledoux, a Potier three-point play and another basket by Ledoux.
The lead increased to 17-6 with 12:46 to play in the half after a jumper and free throw by Harvey.
UNO began to cut into the lead using a 7-0 run to cut the gap to 17-13 with 7:09 to play.
A putback dunk by Zeno with 4:46 to go in the half cut the margin to 21-18 but the Cowboys got it back up to 7 points after a layup and free throw from Jarren Greenwood and another freebie by Burr.
McNeese led 33-29 at the half and never trailed in the game until UNO put together a 10-0 run midway through the second half to pull ahead 49-41 with 11:16 to play.
During the run, the Cowboys turned it over three times that led to six UNO points as Rosa knocked down two of his four 3-pointers in that stretch.
AJ Brown responded with back-to-back baskets to cut the UNO lead to 49-45 with 9:39 to play but the Privateers responded with four straight points to go up 53-45 with 7:49 left.
A 3 by Burr cut the margin to five points then another trey by Burr made it a 3-point game at 58-55 with 3:10 to play.
UNO closed out the game with a dunk by Thomas at the buzzer.
The Cowboys shot 43 percent for the game (25 of 58) but connected on just 5 of 19 for 26 percent from long range while UNO made 46 percent (24 of 52) from the field and 4 of 12 from behind the arc.
The Cowboys will continue their current four-game home stand on Saturday when they host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on ROOT Sports Southwest beginning at 3:30.