The McNeese Men's Basketball team opened their home slate with style Monday night when they defeated the Ecclesia College Royals 101-54 at Burton Coliseum. Sophomore Kalob Ledoux lead the Cowboys with 20 points, while Jarren Greenwood would pull down seven rebounds.
"We're closer as a team and bonding more, and I think its showing on the court. It was nice to get a win tonight after such a heart-breaking loss to a good Houston team, I know we're all really happy to get the win, we really needed it tonight" K. Ledoux said.
The Ledoux brothers out of Port Barre would combine for a total of 30 points, only two of four Cowboys who had double-digit scores in the big win.
Jacob Ledoux would lead all players in assists (6) followed by Quattarious Wilson (2), Greenwood (2), and Stephen Ugochukwu (3).
McNeese had four players with five or more rebounds, a skill set head coach Dave Simmons was particularly focused on improving during the off season. Including Greenwood's seven rebounds, the team would combine for a total of 44 rebounds- 10 more than the previous season's average.
"The importance of rebounding has always been stressed by our coaches, and I can't remember a game we out-rebounded our opponents last year so that's definitely something that's going to give us some confidence headed into our next game" junior James Harvey said.
"After being down in rebounds at the half, it was nice to see the guys come out in the second half and be more aggressive inside and get the rebounds. We are still working on our team chemistry, so it was nice to see some of the players who don't get as much playing-time out on the court tonight" Simmons said.
The contest started out close, with the score tied at eight points for both McNeese and Ecclesia with nearly five minutes played.
"I took more forced shots than I would have liked and Coach Simmons sat me down, I needed that, to be told to pick my shots better" K. Ledoux said about the inconsistency of shot efficiency early on.
It would be with 15:00 on the clock in the 1st period that McNeese would start a 20-8 scoring drive to pull ahead of Ecclesia. The Cowboys continued to put heavy defensive pressure and full court press on the Knights which would lead to a 48-30 lead at the half.
In the first half alone, McNeese capitalized off of multiple Ecclesia turnovers, scoring 17 points off of the Knights' mishaps. McNeese would ultimately cause 30 Ecclesia turnovers and score 36 points from those turnovers.
"This is the style of game we are trying to play, but even with all the steals we got- we missed a lot of lay-ups, we weren't finishing our shots and that can't happen" Simmons said.
Overall, McNeese would take more shots at the rim- outshooting Ecclesia 77-57 and 29-26 long range. The Cowboys shooting percentage was nearly 50% in the win, an increase from 42% last year.
McNeese will travel to San Diego State on Friday (Nov 17) for its third game of the season.
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