McNeese looks to rebound after loss to UNO

Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 6:43 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Coming into its four-game homestand, McNeese was hoping to gain ground in the Southland standings, instead, the Pokes dropped their first two including Sunday’s loss to UNO. The Cowboys allowed the Privateers to go on a nine-point run with under eight minutes to go in the 84-78 McNeese loss. Cowboy coach John Aiken believes McNeese’s ball security and physicality on the boards must improve.

“Yeah we turned it over too much, especially in the stretch where we were up seven,” Aiken said. “We just kept turning the ball over and that has to get fixed. 15 offensive rebounds and 23 second-chance points, but we got outscored in the paint and we’ve got to be able to pound that thing inside, and get to the paint and get to the free-throw line.”

McNeese’s next chance to show that improvement comes vs. Southeastern who the Pokes fell to by five points just three weeks ago. With six teams separated by one game for second place in the conference, every game is of the utmost importance.

“They honestly jumped out on us at the tournament,” Aiken said. “They were up I think 16, and we were able to come back on them but they are playing well and it’s another good team like I talked about before this homestand, these are three of the best teams in the league if not the best coming in there and so I knew they weren’t going to be easy ones to win and now southeastern is another good team, they won the tip-off, they’re playing well so we’ve got to find a way to stack some days here the next couple days in practice and get on top of that one.”

McNeese senior forward Kellon Taylor said as a leader, he needs to continue to push his teams to stay locked in.

“I think I have to do a better job of being more vocal about it,” Taylor said. “It’s not just me showing up and doing my job. I have to be able to lead everybody else and tell everybody else ‘Follow along with me, let’s have that sense of urgency,’ but for me personally I’m urgent about everything I do. Everything I do, I do it with intent. I go full speed, and I feel like if a team does that then they will win games.”

The last time McNeese and Southeastern met, the Pokes won the rebound battle but lost the turnover battle. They’ll have to improve on that when they face off again on Thursday.

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