LAKE CHARLES – The McNeese men's basketball game added its second win of the season to its schedule after defeating Champion Christian College 85-48 on Thanksgiving Eve. The Cowboys will return to Burton on Saturday, when they host Southern- New Orleans at 3:00 p.m.
"Tonight was refreshing after a really tough overtime loss at Loyola Marymount" head coach Dave Simmons said.
"We seemed to be mentally fatigued from our road trip to California and I think it showed on the court tonight with the lack of energy."
McNeese is officially 2-0 at home in Lake Charles, after putting on a show for the fans in Burton on Wednesday afternoon. All 14 Cowboys made an appearance in the contest and every player scored at least four points and pulled down one rebound.
Senior LaBarrius Hill would lead the Cowboys with 12 points, followed by Kalob Ledoux and James Harvey, who would each have 10 of their own.
Transfer Quatarrius Wilson would lead the squad in boards for the fourth game this season, pulling down 11 rebounds. McNeese would build off of Wilson's momentum, outrebounding Champion Christian 52-27.
Despite the advantage on the glass, Simmons believes there is the need for work on the McNeese defense.
"We need to get better at guarding the ball and preventing offensive rebounds."
The Cowboys lead the Tigers for the entirety of the game, in fact, McNeese would start the game with a 15-0 run. The McNeese defense would not give up a basket to Champion until 13:22 in the first period.
Champion Christian's Cody Connor lead the Tiger's offensive attack, putting up 34 total shots and bringing in 24 points on the night. Connor would lead his team in rebounds as well, earning eight in the game.
McNeese forced 23 turnovers in the contest, and score 28 points from those changes in possession- but not without giving up turnovers of their own.
"It was good to see some improvements made from our last game, but there's still work to be done; we gave up 25 turnovers to a team that didn't even press, most of those were self-made" Simmons said.
Jarren Greenwood continues to be an asset on the court for the Cowboys, adding six assists to his stat sheet in today's game. Greenwood now totals 13 on the season, leading McNeese in that category.
Although the Cowboys struggled with shooting efficiency beyond the arc (19%), they shined again at the free throw line, for the second time this season, going 18-22 (82%).
"We're working with Stephen Ugochukwu to getting him back to the success he had last season. If we can get our big guys like Ugochukwu and Hill playing with the same energy, and at the same level of Wilson, we'll be in business" Simmons said.
McNeese moves to 2-3 on the season and will return to Lake Charles on Saturday to host Southern – New Orleans at 3:00 p.m. at Burton Coliseum.
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