Cowboys christen Joe Dumars Court with hot-shooting win over Demons

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LAKE CHARLES – McNeese celebrated the return of the greatest player in school history, Joe Dumars, with the unveiling of Joe Dumars Court in a pregame ceremony before tipping against Northwestern State.

The Cowboys (5-10, 2-0 SLC) christened the court with a 92-77 win over the Demons to improve to 2-0 in Southland Conference play for the first time in five years. NSU lost for the fifth straight time to fall to 8-7 and 0-2.

Five Pokes scored in double-figures for the second straight game, led by Harwin Francois with a career-high 20 points behind six three-point baskets, also a career-best. Zach Scott added 17 points while Christian Shumate contributed with 15 and Johnathan Massie and Roberts Berze each scored 13.

Shumate pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the season and 10th in his career.

As a team, McNeese knocked down a season-high 15 threes (15 for 33) and connected on 32 of 59 from the floor for 54 percent.

NSU had four players score 10 or more, led by Isaac Haney’s 18 points. The Demons shot 50 percent from the field (26 for 52) but was just 9 of 23 for 39 percent from long range.

Next Up:
McNeese will host Texas A&M-Commerce at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon.

Superb Stat Lines:
• Christian Shumate recorded his fifth double-double of the season, 10th in his career with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
• Johnathan Massie scored 13 points, tied a career-high with 8 rebounds, set a new career-high with 7 assists, and tied a season-best with 3 steals.
• Harwin Francois scored a career-high 20 points behind a career-best 6 made 3s and career-most 7 made total field goals.
• McNeese’s 3-point shooters – Francois, Scott, Berze – combined to shoot 12 for 26 from long range.
• McNeese was 13 for 13 at the free throw line on the night.

• McNeese trailed for a total of 20 seconds in the game, that coming when the Demons took a 4-3 lead at the 18:34 mark of the first half.
• Leading 21-14 with 11:03 to play in the first, McNeese scored on three straight 3-pointers by Francois, Scott and Berze in a 1:19 span to build a 30-14 lead.
• The Cowboys took their largest lead of the half at 46-27 following a Berze trey before NSU closed out the final 2:04 on an 8-2 run with McNeese leading 48-35 at the break.
• Francois made his first three 3-point shots of the game before missing.
• The Demons carried the end of the first half run into the second half, scoring the first seven points to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 48-42 with 18:14 to play.
• McNeese then fired off a quick 9-0 run behind threes from Trae English, Francois and English again to go back up by 15 at 57-42.
• The Demons got it back to within seven points at 65-58 with 11:24 o play but the Cowboys put things away over the next six minutes with a 14-0 run to help them build a 79-58 lead with 5:46 remaining.
•McNeese made all 13 of its free throws on the night.
• The Cowboys held a 29-27 advantage in rebounding.
• Each team turned the ball over 15 times but the Cowboys capitalized more on theirs with a 20-13 points-off-turnovers advantage.
• The 15 threes made by McNeese was a season-high and just four shy of the single-game school record of 19 (vs. Southern, N.O. in 2020).
• McNeese shot 61.5 percent in the second half, one game after hitting 57.1 percent in the second half against Lamar.
• The Cowboys have won four straight over the Demons in the series and are now 3-0 in the Legacy Center against NSU.
• McNeese will visit NSU next Thursday night.

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