LAKE CHARLES – After being away from competition for the last nine days, the McNeese State Cowboys and Cowgirls will return to Southland Conference basketball action on Thursday when they host Central Arkansas in a doubleheader at the Lake Charles Civic Center beginning at 5:30.
This will be the second of three doubleheaders played at the Civic Center. Thursday's game has been designated as "Military Appreciation Day" while Saturday's 1 o'clock DH against Oral Roberts is the women's "Play 4 Kay" promotional game where fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of raising awareness for breast cancer research.
The Cowboys will enter Thursday's game 6-13 overall and 4-3 in the conference, tied for fifth place with ORU. McNeese's last outing was an 87-79 overtime loss to Nicholls back on Jan. 21 in a game where the Cowboys missed 16 free throws and shot just 39 percent from the field.
Desharick Guidry continues to heat up on the season and notched his first double-double of the year after he scored 14 points with a season-high 14 rebounds. Guidry is currently ranked second in the conference in rebounding in league-games only.
Topping the Cowboys in scoring for the season is Ledrick Eackles at 15.3 points per game, including a 17.1 ppg average in SLC games – fifth best in the conference.
UCA (4-14, 1-6) has dropped its last five games and is coming off a 66-49 loss to first place Stephen F. Austin last Saturday.
The Bears are led in scoring by LaQuentin Miles who is averaging 22.6 points per game in 10 games played. Miles, like McNeese's Guidry, had to sit out the first half of the season and didn't become eligible until the fall semester ended.
On the women's side, the Cowgirls will be facing one of their toughest tests in league play this season when they host conference co-leader UCA.
McNeese (11-7, 4-3) is just two games behind the Sugar Bears (12-6, 6-1) in the league standings and a win will go far in keeping the Cowgirls on pace for their second regular season championship in four seasons.
The Cowgirls are led offensively by sophomore Allison Baggett who ranks third in the league in scoring with a 17.5 average. Senior Cecilia Okoye follows with 12 points per game while leading the team and ranking fifth in the SLC in rebounding with an 8.8 average.