LAKE CHARLES – Kalob Ledoux and James Harvey went eight for 11 from three-point territory, each ending the night with 19 points, leading the McNeese men's basketball team to a 72-63 win over the Northwestern State Demons. The Cowboys are now 5-7 on the season and an undefeated 2-0 in Southland conference play.
In less than three minutes, the Demons jumped out to a quick eight-point lead, but back-to-back three-pointers by Harvey and Ledoux would keep the Cowboys in the game.
"We discussed before the match-up, Northwestern was going to be coming back with a fight. They gave it to us pretty good on the glass early on, but we persisted and pulled it out," head coach Dave Simmons said.
The score tied for the first time at 10-10 with 15:54 on the clock in the first half. Northwestern would build another seven-point lead before Harvey and Ledoux would each score another three-pointer.
The Cowboys struggled to maintain possession early on, giving up five turnovers in just the first seven minutes of play.
McNeese took its first lead of the game at the 9:51 mark, when Jacob Ledoux put up a lay-up, earning the basket and a foul. Ledoux went 1-1 at the line and the Cowboys would lead 26-23.
Northwestern would not give up without a fight, matching basket for basket and eventually tying the game again after the Cowboys missed five consecutive shots, sending McNeese into a three-minute scoring drought.
The game would tie for the fourth and final time at 32, with a layup by Northwestern's C.J. Jones. McNeese would lead for the remaining 23 minutes of the game after notorious rebound grabber, Quatarrius Wilson stepped out beyond the arc and drained a three-point field goal.
With a three-point lead at the half, McNeese was shooting an impressive 49% from the field, but what had propelled them into success was its success in three-point territory.
In the first half alone, the Cowboys took 10 shots beyond the arc, scoring on six of the attempts. Harvey would lead all-players with 10 points, six of which came from three-pointers.
"He's a disciplined shooter and sometimes he gives up good shots to others. I tell him often, 'James, you have to be more aggressive with your shots.'" Simmons said.
Northwestern would finish the day with only four successful three-point shots, tied for a season low amongst McNeese opponents.
The second-half began on a sort of plateau, with McNeese and Northwestern going back and forth on shots until 15:10 was left to play. Harvey would hit his fourth three-pointer of the game on the mark, giving the Cowboys a nine-point lead.
Both teams fought an aggressive second-half, never letting the other get more than two consecutive baskets until the end of the contest.
There would no field goals from either team for over five and a half minutes, with Kalob Ledoux sinking the final jumper of the game with 1:27 on the clock.
Greenwood would be fouled one final time and go two for two at the line to give the Cowboys their 72-63 win over the Demons.
McNeese shot a season best .519 in the victory, .600 from long range. To put into perspective how the Cowboys have progressed since game one, they began the season shooting .293 and .219 respectively.
Despite it being one of the lower rebounding games for the McNeese with only 36 to Northwestern's 38, Quatarrius Wilson still managed to pull down 10 on his own, for his fifth straight game with 10 or more rebounds.
Every Cowboy that saw action scored in today's home-court win. Aside from Harvey and Ledoux's 19 points, both Wilson and Greenwood were only one basket shy of double-digit score themselves.
McNeese now gets back on the road, hoping to keep the ball rolling through conference play, as it heads to Abilene Christian on Wednesday.
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