McNeese ends Lions’ win streak, 71-62

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HAMMOND, La. – This time the deficit was too big for Southeastern Louisiana to overcome.

The Lions cut a 14-point deficit to five with 3:40 remaining, but McNeese was able to hold on to hand Southeastern its first Southland Conference loss of the season, 71-62, Saturday evening in the University Center.

The Lions (10-8, 4-1 Southland), who had rallied from a 16-point deficit to defeat Lamar, 63-58, on Wednesday, had a four-game win streak snapped. McNeese (6-10, 3-3 Southland) broke a three-game losing streak overall and a four-game streak against Southeastern.

The Lions shot a season-low 26.2 percent (16-of-61), including 22.7 percent (5-of-22) on 3-pointers. Senior guard Eddy Polanco scored 10 of his team-high 15 points from the free throw line. Senior forward Jordan Capps added 14 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Marlain Veal also had seven rebounds to go with three assists and three steals while junior forward Moses Greenwood had seven boards and eight points. Southeastern out-rebounded the Cowboys, 41-37, including 17-6 on the offensive boards.

McNeese made 49.1 percent (26-of-53) of its shots, including 47.4 percent (9-of-19) of its 3s. Kalob Ledoux finished with a game-high 19 points. Jarren Greenwood contributed 15 points while Quatarrius Wilson had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

McNeese took its biggest lead of the game at 52-38 with 12:16 remaining on a Wilson jumper. Polanco followed with three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt and junior guard Keith Charleston added a pair. A Charleston 3 cut the margin to 57-50 with 6:47 left.

The Cowboys went back up by 10 on a three-point play by Greenwood. Polanco was fouled on a dunk following a steal by senior forward James Currington and added the free throw to make it 60-54 with 3:45 remaining. Currington hit a free throw to cut the deficit to five with 3:40 left. But Greenwood and Harvey hit 3s on consecutive possessions to give McNeese a 66-55 lead with 2:25 left.

McNeese shot 50 percent while holding Southeastern to 27.3 percent in taking a 36-29 halftime lead.

The Cowboys went up 13-7 on a Kalob Ledoux layup at the 14:31 mark of the first half. The Lions held McNeese scoreless for 5:32 in going on a 7-0 run to take a 21-20 lead on two Veal free throws with 5:55 left. Jacob Ledoux answered with a layup and Kalob Ledoux hit a 3 to put the Cowboys back ahead 25-21 with 4:51 remaining.

Harvey knocked down a 3 to extend the lead to 31-24 at the 2:31 mark. A Capps free throw got the margin down to four with 1:40 left but two Jacob Ledoux free throws gave McNeese the seven-point halftime lead.

After Kalob Ledoux and senior guard Joshua Filmore traded 3s to open the second half, Greenwood converted a pair of layups to give McNeese a 47-34 lead. Polanco knocked down a 3 but Kalob Ledoux answered with one of his own to make it 50-38 with 12:57 remaining.

NOTES:

McNeese now leads the series 65-44 with its first win over the Lions since a 62-60 overtime victory in the first round of the 2015 Southland Conference Tournament.\

QUOTES:

Southeastern head coach Jay Ladner:

   “I have to give McNeese credit. We’re not surprised. They are very good basketball team, a very talented team. One of the things we talked to our players about was execution and not settling against them. We felt like if we would be patient on offense and not settle for an average shot when we could get a good shot and make the extra pass, but I just don’t think we ever got to that. Then in the second half we got into a catch-up mode and got out of character a little bit.”

UP NEXT:

Southeastern continues the home stand Wednesday against Houston Baptist at 7 p.m. in the University Center. Southeastern Athletics will host a Welcome Back tailgate outside of the UC with food and music heading into tip-off with the Huskies as part of the university-wide Winter Welcome initiative. The contest will also be a Greek Challenge, as SLU fraternities and sororities can compete by downloading the LionUp Loyalty app.

BOX SCORE

McNeese 71, Southeastern La. 62

MCNEESE (6-10, 3-3 SLC)

Ledoux, Kalob 6-15 3-4 19; Greenwood, Jarren 6-8 1-1 15; Wilson, Quatarrius 5-9 0-0 10; Ledoux, Jacob 2-4 3-4 8; Harvey, James 2-7 2-2 8; Hill, LaBarrius 3-4 1-2 7; Ugochukwu, Stephen 2-6 0-0 4; Laku, Richard 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-53 10-13 71.

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA (10-8, 4-1 SLC)

Polanco, Eddy 2-8 10-13 15; Capps, Jordan 6-12 2-4 14; Veal, Marlain 3-12 2-2 9; Greenwood, Moses 2-6 4-4 8; Charleston, Keith 1-6 3-4 6; Singleton, Jabbar 1-3 2-2 5; Filmore, Joshua 1-9 0-0 3; Currington, James 0-5 2-4 2; Thomas, Quinton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-61 25-33 62.

McNeese…………………..   36   35  –   71

Southeastern Louisiana……..   29   33  –   62

3-point goals–McNeese 9-19 (Ledoux, Kalob 4-7; Greenwood, Jarren 2-3; Harvey, James 2-6; Ledoux, Jacob 1-3), Southeastern Louisiana 5-22 (Filmore, Joshua 1-6; Singleton, Jabbar 1-3; Charleston, Keith 1-3; Veal, Marlain 1-4; Polanco, Eddy 1-5; Capps, Jordan 0-1). Fouled out–McNeese-Ugochukwu, Stephen, Southeastern Louisiana-Veal, Marlain. Rebounds–McNeese 37 (Wilson, Quatarrius 11), Southeastern Louisiana 41 (Currington, James 9). Assists–McNeese 8 (Greenwood, Jarren 3), Southeastern Louisiana 10 (Filmore, Joshua 3; Veal, Marlain 3; Singleton, Jabbar 3). Total fouls–McNeese 27, Southeastern Louisiana 17. Technical fouls–McNeese-None, Southeastern Louisiana-None. A-744

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