LOS ANGELES, California – The McNeese men's basketball team would hold the lead for nearly 32 minutes but an aggressive second half by Loyola Marymount would send the Cowboys into overtime and eventually back to Lake Charles with a 92-86 loss in hand.
The first half looked like the Cowboys everyone has been waiting to see this season. Leading by 11 points headed into halftime, McNeese was shooting nearly 60% from the field and beyond the arc.
"We thought we had the game won in regulation, we played really well and shot very efficiently overall" said head coach Dave Simmons.
Junior Kalob Ledoux drained a career high 26-points and shot a season best 53% from the field in tonight's loss.
Loyola Marymount (2-1) would come out in the second half with the intentions of turning the game around, and it did just that.
"I'll give them credit, they're a good team and they came back out and fought hard" said Simmons.
Led by sophomore transfer Cameron Allen, the lions would cut the point deficit to two points with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.
With 19 seconds on the clock, a three-pointer by redshirt senior Steven Haney of the Lions would tie the score at 78-78. McNeese had two additional chances to take the lead and the win before time would expire but both opportunities fell short.
The Cowboys would be unable to regain momentum during overtime, which began with a turnover by McNeese followed by a three-point basket by LMU.
It would be two minutes into overtime that McNeese would get its first points, but by that point the Lions had already sparked their fire- leading the Cowboys into the 92-86 loss.
"We struggled with rebounding, but it's something we're continuously working on. The Lions were pulling down the offensive rebounds, which led to big shots" Simmons said.
"Down the stretch, we were unable to handle the ball like we needed to and we missed some shots when it was crucial for us to make them. We were making mental mistakes and couldn't keep all of the components of the game together."
Three other Cowboys would achieve double-digits scores with newcomer Quatarrius Wilson (12), James Harvey (15), and Jarren Greenwood (17) each adding to the scoreboard.
Wilson continues to shine in the blue and gold, pulling down a team best of eight rebounds. Harvey and Greenwood would finish with five each.
Greenwood finished the game going 10-10 from the free-throw line, leading the Cowboys in their 18-21 campaign at the line.
"I was satisfied with our shooting efficiency, we shot very well for the most part, and going 18 for 21 at the free throw line is important in a contest like this one" Simmons said.
The Cowboys played an aggressive game against the Lions, and were plagued by foul trouble from top performers Stephen Ugochukwu and Wilson, Simmons commented.
"Stephen caught some early fouls in the game and with he and Quatarrius fouling out, that was a difference maker under the basket."
McNeese drops to 1-3 on the season and will return to Lake Charles on Wednesday to host Champion Christian College at 3PM at Burton Coliseum.