LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The biggest game in the new home of McNeese Cowboy basketball will take place on Tuesday night when the Cowboys host the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30. Tickets are still available at the McNeese Ticket Office, by calling 337-475-4MSU, or online at McNeeseSports.com.
The long-time rivalry will mark its 94th meeting.
“We’re going to be playing a really good team,” said head coach Heath Schroyer. “I have the utmost respect for coach (Bob) Marlin. The last 12 years they’ve won 112 games. They’re a good, experienced program. They have post players that can score on the blocks and a 4-man that can stretch the floor and go inside-out.”
The Cajuns (7-4) recently had a 5-game winning streak snapped at the hands of Louisiana Tech by an 83-62 score. In that winning streak, ULL posted victories over Tulane, New Orleans, Southern, Loyola (N.O.) and Prairie View.
“They’re as good as any team we’ve played in a lot of way,” said Schroyer. “We’ve played a really tough schedule and this will be another challenging game for us but it’s one we’re excited about to get an opponent of this caliber at home, into our arena and with our fans.”
ULL has won three straight in the series including last year’s 89-78 win in the Cajundome. McNeese’s last win over the Cajuns was by an 80-70 score in 2014 in Burton Coliseum.
The Cowboys (3-7) have three games remaining before Southland Conference action begins on Jan. 2 at Incarnate Word and Schroyer says the team is close to being where he wants them to be.
“I think we’re getting there,” he said. "We’ve faced a lot adversity so far this year. No one has played the schedule we’ve played. We’re just trying to continue to get better.
“Like I told our team, I’ve been here before. I’ve built programs before. My second year at (Tennessee) Martin we started out 2-8 and ended up winning the conference. It’s a long year. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
The Cowboys will enter Tuesday’s game with two players scoring in double-figures – James Harvey at 13.0 points per game and Malik Hines with a 12.5 mark. Hines leads the Southland Conference and is ranked 30th in the nation in field goal shooting at 60.7 percent.
Roydell Brown tops the league in rebounding with a 9.2 mark. Brown was named this week’s Southland Conference Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in the two games last week where he averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds per game.
The former ULL player, who played as a freshman for the Cajuns before transferring to Southwest Mississippi, has a conference-high five double-doubles on the season, ranking him 18th in the nation.
The Cajuns are led in scoring by JaKennan Gant’s 16.9 points.
ULL holds a 58-35 lead in the all-time series.
Tuesday night’s game will broadcast live on Cox Sports TV and will stream on ESPN+ outside the CST viewing area.