LAKE CHARLES – McNeese dropped it's first home game of the season on Saturday, 82-75, in an overtime thriller to New Orleans. Junior point guard Jarren Greenwood led the offensive attack for the second game in a row with 22 points. James Harvey and Kalob Ledoux both finished in the double-digits as well, with 17 and 14 respectively.
"New Orleans is a big, physical team and played really well tonight. There were a couple calls I thought should have went our way, but I'm happy with the progress we've made since last year. Taking the defending champions into overtime, that's a good game" head coach Dave Simmons said.
The Cowboys would not take the lead until 9:35 in the first half, with junior Jarren Greenwood draining a three pointer to push McNeese ahead 17-16. Greenwood finished the first half with only five points, scoring three times that in the second half alone.
McNeese headed into the locker-room with an eight-point lead on UNO, it would be the third time this season the Cowboys fell defeated after leading at the half.
UNO came out of the locker-room with the intent to cut the lead and that they did, firing off seven points and defending the basket to give the Cowboys only two, cutting McNeese's lead to three points.
McNeese began the second half with possession, and turned it into a turnover after another offensive foul plagued the play makers.
Outrebounding the Privateers 20 to 17 in the first half, the Cowboys seemed to let the ball fall in favor of UNO after back-to-back missed baskets. UNO would turn both defensive rebounds into points.
Making seven of the eight free-throw attempts in the first half, Kalob Ledoux scored his first points of the second half from the charity line. He finished the night 7-7 from the line.
A long shot by UNO's Travin Thibodeaux would put the Privateers back on top 52-51 with 11:25 to play in the contest.
Thibodeaux was one of three players for UNO that would end the game with double-digits, leading the Privateers in the win was Bryson Robinson. Robinson scored an impressive 31 points against McNeese, shooting seven of his eight attempts from beyond the arc. Michael Zeno would be the third Privateer in double-digits with 12 points.
The Cowboys were outscored 17-7 over a five-minute span as UNO posted 11 unanswered points by the 7:33 mark.
"We had some bad shots and they didn't fall our way. We didn't take as many post shots as we needed. We have to balance that out better and make better decisions before we take the shot," Simmons said.
Harvey breaks the five-minute scoring drought with a jumper and the Cowboys trailed 58-53 with seven minutes to play.
LaBarrius Hill comes up with multiple blocks in the win/loss, including a drive stopping block within the six-minute mark. Hill would total three more blocks in the loss.
Trailing by seven, Harvey put in another three to try and keep McNeese in the game, but another shooting foul on the Cowboys put the Privateers back on the line.
UNO would lead 63-59 with 3:42 left to play, but a shot clock violation and turnover would give McNeese the opportunity they needed.
Greenwood puts up another jumper and the Cowboys pull within two of the Privateers lead.
New Orleans calls a timeout with 2:20 left to play after a jumper by Privateer Michael Zeno gives them a four-point lead.
Harvey would add yet another jumper to this stat sheet, followed by a layup by senior Stephen Ugochukwu, and McNeese has tied the ball game at 65 a piece, with only 1:11 left on the clock.
Each team would get a trip to the charity stripe, UNO missing their only shot and Greenwood sinking both of his, just as Greenwood does.
McNeese would enter its second overtime game of the season tied at 69 with UNO.
Kalob Ledoux would foul out with 1:03 in the clock in overtime, sending UNO to the line with a two-point 77-75 lead.
New Orleans hit only two of their four free-throw opportunities in the first half, but when overtime came- the Privateers were able to sink eight of ten from the line, giving them the points needed to regain control of the ball game.
The Cowboys would miss their final seven field goals of the game, shooting 11% from the field over the span of the five minute overtime.
In the end, New Orleans would outscore McNeese 13-5 in overtime, taking home the 82-75 win.
The Cowboys drop to 5-9 on the season, 2-2 in conference play. The series between McNeese and UNO continues to lean in favor of the Privateers, 12-7.
"We have to pick this loss up somewhere on the road. We have to get it together and get tough, we're going to be playing some tough teams on the road and we need more fight if we're going to win" Simmons said.
McNeese rounded out the evening with 35 rebounds, outrebouned 15-28 in the second half and overtime.
The Cowboys get back on the road next week, playing at Nicholls on Wednesday.
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