LAS CRUCES, NM – Patrick Richard got his scoring touch back on Wednesday but it wasn't enough as McNeese State dropped an 82-62 decision to New Mexico State.
Richard scored 21 points – 12 in the second half – but the Aggies led all the way, holding a 36-25 halftime edge and outscoring the Cowboys 46-37 in the second period.
The loss was the third in a row for McNeese which will now break until hosting Southern Mississippi at 1 p.m on Dec. 31. The Cowboy record fell to 4-7. The win sent New Mexico's record to 8-4 and the win was the fifth in six outings at home, Wednesday's game played before 4,844.
It was also the second victory for the Aggies in three games with the Cowboys. The two teams had played a pair of games in the mid-1950s when New Mexico State was then known as New Mexico A&M.
The game was the third road contest in a row for the Cowboys.
Head coach Dave Simmons said that the final score did not indicate the type of game that his Cowboys played.
"We were playing a very athletic team and I was proud of the way our team played," he said. "I saw a big improvement from our last game. If we had played this way in those other two games we might have won them.
"I thought that we made big strides in this game."
Jeremie Mitchell also scored in double figures for the Cowboys, popping in 12 points with 10 of those coming in the first half.
The Cowboys were outrebounded 36-29 and once again freshman Desharick Guidry came off the bench to lead the team with seven. He also scored six points.
Dontae Cannon scored nine points for McNeese while Rudy Turner had four along with four rebounds and a blocked shot before fouling out for the second straight game.
Richard knocked down six of the 12 field goals he attempted in the game and made all eight free throws. He also made the Cowboys final six points.
The Aggies had the game's leading scorer, Wendell McKines who had 23 points while Christian Kabongo scored 15 and Bandja Sy had 13. McKines also led the game in rebounding with 17.
New Mexico State made 58 percent of its field goals (29 of 50) while the Cowboys tapped in 41.4 percent (24 of 58).
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.