LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Sha’markus Kennedy scored 22 points and pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds for McNeese but Central Arkansas sank all three of its three-pointers in overtime and out-scored the Cowboys 12-6 in the extra period to beat McNeese 82-76.
McNeese fell to 12-12 on the season and 7-6 in league play while UCA improved to 8-16 overall and also at 7-6 in the conference and swept the season series with the Cowboys.
Myles Hutchinson sank a career-best 19 points while A.J. Lawson scored 14 and Dru Kuxhausen 12. Lawson missed the overtime period due to an injury he suffered with less than three minutes to play in regulation.
The Bears had five players score in double-figures and was led by Rylan Bergersen’s 21 points. Eddy Kayouloud scored six of his 14 points in overtime, both from three-point range.
UCA led 42-37 at the half and built an early double-digit lead that held for much of the half until the Cowboys rallied in the final five minutes to cut the margin to five. The Bears connected on eight 3-pointers in the half and shot 52 percent from the field while the Cowboys struggled from the floor, making just 7 of their first 22 shots before closing out the final five minutes knocking down 5 of 7 including three 3-pointers, two of those by Kuxhausen.
McNeese tied the game at 60-60 after a Kuxhausen layup with 7:08 to play and after Bergersen put the Bears back on top with a layup to make it 62-60, the Cowboys scored eight straight points to got up 68-62 with 4:46 remaining. A minute later, Kuxhausen was whistled for a technical foul where the Bears hit both free throws to close the gap to 68-66 with 3:22 to play.
The Cowboys led 70-66 after a Hutchinson layup with 2:55 to play but the Bears were able to capitalize on McNeese missing two free throws, three layups, a jumper in the lane and a three-pointer and tied the game on a Bergersen dunk to make it 70-70 with 1:15 to play.
Kuxhausen missed an open three-pointer with 40 seconds to play but Hutchinson came up with the offensive rebound. Lawson then missed a jumper in the lane with 18 seconds left, giving UCA the final shot that ended up being a missed layup by Deandre Jones in traffic at the buzzer.
Kennedy scored the first points of overtime to put McNeese up 72-70 but Kayouloud answered with the first of his two 3s to give the Bears a 73-72 lead with 4:14 to play.
Hutchinson put McNeese back on top at 74-73 with 3:56 remaining. Kayouland answered with another three to start an 8-0 run and Aaron Weidenaar followed by popping a three-pointer to put the Bears up 79-74 with 2:46 to play. The lead grew to 81-74 after a Hayden Koval layup with 1:49 to play.
McNeese shot 40 percent for the game (26-65) and just 25 percent from long range (6-24) while UCA connected on 41 percent (29-70) overall and 13 of 38 for 34 percent from behind the arc.
The Cowboys held a 45-44 advantage on the glass.
McNeese will be back in action next Saturday when it visits Northwestern State.