Kennedy and Lawson’s 20-point games guide Cowboys to win over Demons
LAKE CHARLES – Sha’markus Kennedy scored 21 points and A.J. Lawson 20 to lead McNeese to an 85-76 win over Northwestern State Saturday afternoon in Southland Conference action and giving the Cowboys their second straight league win.
The Cowboys (7-9, 2-3 SLC) opened up a 1-point, 53-52 lead with 14:51 to play in the game with a 15-5 run over the next eight minutes to build an 11-point margin at 68-57 after a jumper in the paint by Lawson.
NSU (6-9, 3-3) closed to within 76-71 after a Chudier Bile three-pointer with 2:19 to play but Lawson took charge and followed up with a three of his own then a layup after a turnover to put the Cowboys up 81-71 with 1:06 remaining.
Dru Kuxhausen added 19 points for the Cowboys, who are now 6-2 at home this season. He hit 5 of 11 from three-point range and increased his NCAA-leading total threes made to 68 on the year.
Roydell Brown recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. He scored all 14 points and pulled down 10 boards in the second half alone.
For the Demons, Trenton Massner and Jairus Roberson each scored 17 points to lead the way, Bile had 15 and Jamaure Gregg 10.
McNeese led 43-42 at the half but not before NSU built as much as a nine-point lead a couple times in the first eight minutes off the hot hand of Massner who knocked down three 3s during that span.
After falling behind 20-11 at the 12:41 mark, McNeese rolled off 11 straight points, five of those by Lawson, and took a 22-20 lead following a Trey Johnson three at the 10:08 mark.
The Demons regained the lead a minute later but McNeese started and ended an 11-2 run with a couple of Kuxhausen 3s to help build a 35-27 advantage with 5:35 to play in the half. His fourth three-pointer of the half put McNeese up 38-28 with 4:58 to play in the half but the Demons managed to outscore the Cowboys 14-5 the rest of the way to close the gap to one point at the break.
McNeese hit 31 of 68 shots from the field for 45.6 percent and 9 of 22 from long range for 41 percent. NSU sank 25 of 57 shots for 44 percent and 10 of 29 from behind the arc for 34.5 percent.
The Cowboys dished out 20 assists on 31 made shots while turning the ball over just seven times.
McNeese held a 40-37 advantage in rebounds and outscored the Demons 38-20 in the paint.
McNeese will look to build on its current winning streak on Wednesday when it hosts Incarnate Word at 6:30 at the H&HP Arena.
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