Desharick Guidry's fourth-straight double-double with 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds helped lead McNeese to a 74-63 win over Southern-New Orleans Wednesday night but it was Kevin Hardy's two-handed reverse dunk off an ally-oop pass from Keelan Garrett that put the stamp on the victory.
Hardy finished right behind Guidry with 18 points behind 9 of 10 shooting. Eight of Hardy's makes were dunks which set a new school record for most slams in a game.
He also pulled down nine rebounds and had four blocked shots. Jamaya Burr added 12 points and five assists.
The win moved the Cowboys to 3-2 on the season while staying unbeaten in Burton Coliseum (3-0). They'll get a tough test on Saturday when they host Louisiana-Lafayette at 7 p.m.
"At this stage of the year, every win is great to have," said head coach Dave Simmons. "You have to give SUNO some credit. They have some really good players. (Will) Bailey had 17 points in the first half and at the half, I challenged Kevin to step up the defense. He held him to no points in the second half."
Bailey and Thaddeus Showers led the Knights with 17 points each while Michael Chinn scored 15 and Antonio Wright 10. McNeese connected on 52 percent of its shots for the game (34 for 66) and hit 17 of 31 for 55 percent in the second half.
The Cowboys also scored 20 fast break points and outscored the Knights 58-10 in the paint, all without starting post player and the nation's top shot blocker in Austin Lewis who sat out the game to nurse a turned ankle suffered at LSU.
"I was pleased with the production we got from some of our bigs," said Simmons. "Outscoring anyone 58-10 in the paint is a dominating factor."
After leading 39-33 at the half and leading 49-42 after a Chinn jumper with 12:06 to play, Hardy sparked a run that saw the Cowboys build a 13-point lead behind a couple of highlight reel ally-oop dunks.
SUNO kept pushing forward and cut the margin to nine at 63-54 with 3:55 to play when Guidry took over by scoring six of McNeese's eight points in an 8-0 run to make it 71-54 with 2:12 to go.
Hardy closed the Cowboys' scoring out with his record-breaking dunk with 54 ticks left and Showers sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to make it an 11-point game. The Cowboys had problems finding the bottom of the net from long range in the first half after hitting just 3 of 16 but made up for it with 14 transition and fast break points and led by as many as 11 with 6:56 to play.
Leading 15-13 after SUNO's Will Bailey knocked down a three-pointer, the Cowboys strung together a 10-2 run that was highlighted by back-to-back monster dunks from Hardy.
Shaun Johnson gave McNeese its largest lead of the half with one of his two first half treys to make it 28-17 before SUNO scored six straight to cut the gap to five points with just under six minutes to play.
Hardy threw down his third dunk of the half to make it 33-28 with 3:04 to play and Burr rolled in a fast break layup at the buzzer to give the Cowboys at 39-33 lead at the break.