Cowboys start season with 81-53 loss to Houston

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HOUSTON – The McNeese Men’s Basketball team opened its 2017-18 season in H&PE Arena in Houston against the Cougars on Friday night, dropping the game 81-53. The Cowboys are now 0-1 on the season and will be back in Lake Charles for their home opener against Ecclesia College on Monday at 7PM.

McNeese managed to keep the game within 10 points until the final four minutes of the first period, when Houston went on 2-14 scoring drive, pulling ahead.

“Early in the basketball game I thought we played really well, it was 21-19 and we missed a couple of free-throws that would have tied it” said head coach Dave Simmons, who is entering his 12th season at McNeese.

Trailing by only 14 points at the half, McNeese had more offensive attacks on the basket, out shooting Houston 31-26 but managed a shooting efficiency of less than 40% from the field in the first period.

“I didn’t feel like we converted enough at the free-throw line, which would have kept us close and within reach. Houston shot over 69% in the first half and we were only down by 14 points. I intended for us to go into the locker room at halftime, regroup, and come out in the second half, but you need to be more efficient at the basket and we didn’t do that” said Simmons.

The Cowboys were then held scoreless for the first 3:05 of the second half, allowing Houston to build a 19-point lead that would stand firm until the end of the game.

Returning sophomore Jacob Ledoux lead all Cowboys with 10 points, followed by Jarren Greenwood (9) and Kalob Ledoux (9). McNeese had seven Cowboys with four or more points in the contest.

McNeese earned 13 of its points at the free-throw line, with J.Ledoux leading the team with six of those points. The sophomore out of Port Barre, Louisiana shot 67% from the line.

Newcomer Quatarrius Wilson lead McNeese with six rebounds, while seven other Cowboys had at least one rebound in the contest.

The Cowboys put heavy pressure on the Cougars and caused 17 turnovers. Late in the second half, McNeese forced Houston into a scoring drought of over four minutes.

All 14 of the Cowboys got time on the court tonight, with Greenwood leading all players with 32 minutes. 40% of McNeese’s points came from its bench tonight.

“Overall, I am happy with the efforts, I saw some bright spots and we will continue to improve on our skills” said Simmons.

McNeese is now 0-2 against Houston all-time, and 2-7 against members of the American Athletic Conference.

McNeese will return home next week for its home opener against Ecclesia College on Monday, November 13th at 7PM at Burton Coliseum.

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