HOUSTON – Jarren Greenwood scored a game-high 21 points and Kalob Ledoux 20 while Quatarrius Wilson recorded his third straight double-double (seventh of the season) with 11 points and a career-high 17 rebounds as McNeese outlasted Houston Baptist 86-81 here Saturday night for it second straight win away from home.
The victory comes one week after the Cowboys knocked off previously league unbeaten Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond last Saturday.
Trailing 74-71 with 6:26 to play, McNeese scored five straight points on a jumper by Greenwood followed by a 3-pointer by Ledoux to put the Cowboys up 76-74 with 5:09 left.
After HBU (4-16, 0-7 SLC) tied the game at 76-76 on a David Caraher layup for two of his career-high tying 30 points, McNeese outscored the Huskies 10-5 the final 4:26 to lift the Cowboys to the win.
“It was a great team effort tonight,” said head coach Dave Simmons whose Cowboys snapped a four-game skid to the Huskies. “We got some good scoring from our guards while Quatarrius did a great job on the boards.
“They (HBU) have a really good offensive team,” said Simmons. “This is how all of their home games have been this year. They’re going to knock some people off in this gym this year.”
McNeese (7-10, 4-3 SLC) didn’t hit a field goal in that final 4:26, but didn’t need them. Greenwood knocked down 5 of 6 of his free throws in that span, Wilson made 3 of 4, and Ledoux sank both of his as the Cowboys closed out the game at the line.
“We weren’t very good at the line early but we made them when we needed them,” said Simmons.
James Harvey added 13 points for the Cowboys to round out four players scoring in double-digits.
In addition to Caraher’s 30 points for HBU, Jalon Gates added 26 and Braxton Bonds 13.
Neither team led by more than nine points in the game, which was McNeese’s largest lead coming late in the first half. HBU’s largest margin was five points, also coming in the first stanza.
The game saw nine ties and 10 lead changes.
“This was just a good, hard-fought game,” said Simmons. “It’s great to come out of here with a win.”
The teams played to a 45-45 tie at the half after HBU ended the frame on an 11-2 run capped by a three-pointer by Gates with 1.5 seconds left.
Prior to the Huskies’ run, McNeese built a 43-34 lead following a Ledoux jumper then four straight points scored by Greenwood with 2:36 to play in the first half.
McNeese opened the game on a 7-1 run before HBU took its first lead at 13-11 with 14:40 to play following a three by Gates.
The Cowboys connected on 47 percent for the game (30-64) and 40 percent from long range (8-20) while HBU hit 39 percent (27-69) from the field and 11 of 35 from 3-point range for 31 percent.
McNeese sank 18 of 28 from the free throw line for 64.3 percent and hit 14 of 19 in the second half for 73.7 percent while HBU made 16 of 28 for 57 percent but was just 5 of 9 in the second half after hitting 11 of 19 in the first half.
The Cowboys turned the ball over just nine times in the game and had only one turnover in the second half until an inbounds pass was stolen with 5.5 seconds to play.
HBU held a 47-41 advantage in rebounds and 19-11 mark on the offensive glass.
Next up for McNeese will be a visit to I-10 rival Lamar next Saturday at 4:30.
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