LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The McNeese men and women’s basketball teams will both miss the Southland Conference Tournament next week in Katy, Texas. Both teams lost to Texas A&M - CC on Wednesday night to seal their fate.
Recaps of both games can be found below.
McNeese didn’t net its first points of the game until after the first media timeout against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday night and for the second straight game, a slow start resulted in a loss as the Cowboys were officially eliminated from Southland Conference tournament contention after a 59-50 loss.
Four seniors played in their final home game as a Cowboy, first year player Trey Touchet, and three fourth-year players in AJ Brown, Jarren Greenwood and James Harvey.
“I’m proud of their effort,” said head coach Heath Schroyer about the senior class. “It’s always hard when you’re a senior and there’s a coaching change in your senior year. Those guys have meant a lot to the program. All four of them are going to get their degrees and go on to be productive members of society. At the end of the day they’re going to be good husbands and good fathers and I’m really proud of that.”
Harvey ended his home career with a game-high 15 points on the night while Greenwood followed with 10. But overall, the Cowboys had a miserable night shooting the ball, hitting just 29 percent for the game (16 of 55) and 18 percent from long range (5 of 27).
The Cowboys (9-21, 5-12 SLC) fell behind 9-0 before a Harvey layup gave the Cowboys their first points at the 13:01 mark.
“We just had a hard time putting the ball in the basket,” said Schroyer. “When you hold a team to 59 points at home you should be able to win the game.”
The Cowboys have played the last seven games without leading scorer and rebounder Roydell Brown who sprained his ankle in the second half of a 74-72 loss to Northwestern State back on Feb. 9. The Cowboys are 2-5 in Brown’s absence.
“Without him on the floor the last few games, we were just limited with the fire-power,” said Schroyer.
In his absence, Sha’Markus Kennedy has stepped up to be the go-to player for the Cowboys but he was held to eight points and attempted just five shots on the night.
“They did a good job of taking Sham away,” said Schroyer. “We just didn’t make enough shots.”
The Cowboys’ defense did what it needed to win the game, holding the Islanders to 59 points, the least amount allowed against a conference team this season. AMCC (13-17, 8-9 SLC) connected on just 39 percent from the field (21 of 54) but knocked down 8 of 20 from three-point range for 40 percent.
“Defensively we had a really good game plan and executed that,” said Schroyer. “I’m proud of the effort.”
Kareem South led Corpus with 17 points while Jake Babic scored 12 behind four three-pointers.
The Islander led 26-15 at the half and was threatened early in the second half when the Cowboys cut the margin to 26-20 following a Greenwood three-pointer and a layup. But Babic came right back with back-to-back threes to put the margin at double-digits.
From that point, the Cowboys were not able to get any closer than eight points.
Kennedy led the Cowboys with 10 rebounds and three blocked shots on the night while Touchet dished out five assists and not turnovers.
The Cowboys will close out the season on Saturday when they visit Lamar in the second half of a double-header with the men’s game tip-off scheduled for 4:30.
McNeese women’s basketball Southland Conference Tournament hopes ended Wednesday night with a 62-51 loss at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Freshman Divine tied her career high with 13 points to lead McNeese in scoring and nearly picked up her fourth double double by leading the Cowgirls with nine rebounds. Regan Bolton and Callie Maddox both ended the game with 10 points apiece.
The Cowgirls (7-21, 5-12 SLC) opened the game shooting 7.1 percent from the field on 1 of 14 in the first quarter and trailed 15-6 after the first quarter.
McNeese stayed within striking distance in the second quarter following a three-pointer by Bolton and a layup by Tanks to go into the locker room trailing 26-22 at the half.
A&M-CC (14-14, 8-9 SLC) opened the second half on a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 31-22 less than a minute into the third quarter.
The Cowgirls struggled through another rough shooting quarter but only trailed by 10 points (43-33) heading into the final period.
The Islanders continued to build on its lead in the final stanza and held its largest lead of the game (57-41) with 4:31 left to play.
A&M-CC also had three players score in double figures with Alexes Bryant leading the Islanders with 13 points. Dae Dae Evans ended the game with a double double (12 pts., 10 reb.), and Dalesia Booth pitched in with 11 points.
The Cowgirls will conclude their season with a 2 p.m. game at Lamar Saturday.