LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A.J. Lawson scored 22 points and Dru Kuxhausen added 21 as McNeese responded with a sluggish start to blow past Campbellsville-Harrodsburg 107-61 here Tuesday night in the first of five straight home games.
The Cowboys (3-6), who were coming off a 2-point loss at then-nationally ranked Texas on Saturday, took a few minutes to get the gas going but when it did, it was quite a show.
Kuxhausen once again flirted with the school’s single-season record for three-pointers made by hitting 7 of 14 on the night while Lawson knocked down 10 of 12 from the field to notch his second 20-point game of the year.
“We usually start games really well,” said head coach Heath Schroyer. “This is the first one we didn’t start well. We’ll go back and look at our preparation for this one.”
The Pioneers were scrappy early and led 21-16 on the tail end of a 9-0 run 10 minutes into the game before McNeese responded seven straight points scored by Sha’Markus Kennedy, who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, that put McNeese up 23-21.
McNeese led 47-31 at the break then opened the second half on a 16-2 run in the first five minutes to make it 63-35 as the Cowboys began to put the game away.
Another 13-0 run fueled by back-to-back 3s by Lawson and Sam Baker then another trey by Lawson, made it a 79-37 lead with 11:51 to play.
The Cowboys hit the century mark on a Jeremy Harrell jumper in the paint to make the score 101-54 with 4:19 to play and Chris Orlina, who finished with 14 points, gave McNeese its 107th point on a fast break layup with just over a minute to play.
Roydell Brown recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds while also dishing out four assists.
McNeese forced CU-H into 24 turnovers and scored 36 points off those errors, but the Cowboys turned the ball over 17 times themselves which led to 18 Pioneer points.
“We did win the game but we didn’t take care of business like we should have,” said Kuxhausen about the Cowboys’ play. “But in the end, it’s a win.”
McNeese shot 58.3 percent from the field (42-72) and 65 percent in the second half (24-37) while outscoring the Pioneers 60-30 in the second stanza. The Cowboys also held a 46-28 advantage in rebounds with 18 of those coming off the offensive glass and turning into 22 second-chance points.
The Pioneers were led in scoring by Anthony Ward’s 16 points while Tyrese Duncan added 11.
“The guys were down a bit,” said Schroyer about the team’s mood in the locker room postgame. “We’ve come a long way as a program when you win by 50 and you’re disappointed. This is a great group. I’m really excited about them.”
McNeese will be back in action next Tuesday when it hosts Missouri-Kansas City of the Western Athletic Conference. The Roos are currently 5-4 on the season and have won four of their last five games including wins over George Washington and East Carolina.
• Dru Kuxhausen’s seven 3-pointers made increases his season total to 40 and moving him back to the No. 1 spot in the nation.
• McNeese is averaging 104.7 points scored in three home games this season.
• The 107 points are the most scored in a game since scoring 108 vs. Loyola-New Orleans at the start of the 2000-01 season.
• It’s the first time in school history McNeese has scored 100 or more in three games through the first nine of the season.