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Cowboys beat UIW 82-72, Shumate with career high 29 points

McNeese forward Christian Shumate
McNeese forward Christian Shumate(McNeese Sports Information)
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 8:19 PM CST
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SAN ANTONIO – Christian Shumate scored a career-high 29 points with 14 of those coming off the offensive glass and McNeese held off a second half rally by UIW to capture an 82-72 Southland Conference road win on Saturday.

The win improved the Cowboys to 2-1 in league play on the year and 8-12 overall while snapping a two-game losing streak to the Cardinals (4-16, 0-3).

Shumate also led the team with 11 rebounds to collect his fourth double-double of the season. Kellon Taylor added 14 points for the Cowboys while Myles Lewis scored 12, including a crucial 3-pointer late, and Zach Scott added 10.

McNeese used a suffocating defense with good aim shooting on the offensive end to take a 49-28 lead into the half.

“I thought we dominated every phase of the game in the first half,” said head coach John Aiken. “But in the second half, we weren’t very good defensively. I think we took our foot off the gas a little bit. We also had guys in foul trouble but we weathered that storm.”

Lewis matched the Cowboys’ largest lead at 25 points with a layup with 16:20 to play in the second half to make it a 59-34 lead. From that point and over the next 9:09, UIW connected on 8 of its next 10 shots and put together a 24-7 run to cut the McNeese lead to 66-58 with 9:09 to play.

McNeese answered with a Shumate putback after a miss, then his blocked shot and rebound on the defensive end resulted in a Harwin Francois 3 to give the Cowboys a 71-58 advantage with 8:19 remaining.

UIW had an answer itself and scored seven straight to cut the lead to 71-65 at the 5:31 mark.

But with McNeese leading by just five (74-69) at the final media timeout, Lewis made perhaps the shot of the game when he sank his only attempted trey of the contest while the shot clock was running out. Shumate followed with a layup to lift the Cowboys back to a 10-point advantage and seemingly took the air out of the Cardinals’ team.

“Myles Lewis made a heck of a shot,” said Aiken. “It was a five-point game then. That was a huge, huge possession.”

The Cowboys finished the game hitting 51 percent from the field (30 of 59), including 18 of 33 for 55 percent in the first half. UIW flipped things in the second half, hitting 50 percent of its shots after a 36 percent performance in the first. For the game, the Cardinals connected on 44 percent (22 of 50).

McNeese was 4 of 10 from long range while UIW hit 5 of 15, and from the free throw line, the Cowboys sank 18 of 28 for 64 percent while UIW made 23 of 29 for 79 percent, including 14 of 18 in the second half.

The Cowboys held a 38-29 advantage in rebounds including 15-7 on the offensive glass which led to a 23-8 lead in second chance scoring. McNeese also scored 14 points off turnovers and 46 points in the paint.

McNeese never trailed in the game.

UIW was led by Charlie Yoder’s 25 points while season leading scorer RJ Glasper was held to just two points.

The Cowboys return home on Thursday when they host Nicholls to begin a four-game home stand.

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