Poor shooting dooms Cowboys in 67-57 loss to Sam Houston

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LAKE CHARLES – The McNeese men’s basketball team shot a conference season low 32% on Tuesday in its 67-57 loss to Sam Houston State. The Cowboys drop to 7-12 overall and 4-5 in Southland play.

Head coach Dave Simmons was expecting a tough game from Sam Houston, but not the poor shooting performance from his Cowboys, “We didn’t shoot the ball well. If you would have told me James Harvey will go 0-11 anywhere, I would have told you that will never happen…. But it did.”

The Cowboys finished the game shooting 21-64 from the field, 5-22 from the arc. Four of those five baskets came from Kalob Ledoux, who ended the game with 22 points- his fifth 20-point game of the season, third straight.

McNeese was off to a rocky start with three missed shot attempts and a turnover, but at the 14:21 mark, Kalob Ledoux would spark a 13-2 run by the Cowboys that included three treys by the sophomore.

Leading 19-15 at the eight-minute mark, Jacob Ledoux would get in on the action and sink a three of his own. The Ledoux brothers would be the only ones to sink a three-point field goal in the first half.

Ledoux is followed up by a tip-in by Stephen Ugochukwu and the Cowboys build a nine-point 24-15 lead.

The Bearkats return the power with back-to-back buckets to cut the Cowboy’s lead to only five and soon enough, with 3:02 on the clock, Sam Houston’s Josh Delaney would sink a long shot to lift the Bearkats over the Cowboys, 27-26.

Head coach Dave Simmons expected a tough game from Sam Houston, “We started out well, but we can’t sustain that momentum. We missed some easy shots and started looking for calls instead of making plays- that’s when we just got out of sync.”

The nine-point lead-turning run by Sam Houston kept McNeese scoreless for over three minutes.

At the half, the Cowboys would trail 33-28 after only netting two jumpers in the final seven minutes.

Kalob Ledoux had already earned his tenth straight game in the double-digits with 13 points in the first half, shooting 5-7 from the field, including 3-4 from long range.

McNeese found themselves heavily outrebounded in the first half, 26-18. Sam Houston managed 11 offensive rebounds in which they score ten second-chance points.

The Cowboys broke character beyond the arc, shooting only 31% missing nine of their 13 attempts.

At the start of the second half, Sam Houston picked up right where the left off, building a fifteen-point lead, leaving McNeese trailing 48-33 with 14:13 left on the clock.

With 9:46 left to play, Stephen Ugochukwu was called for his fifth and final foul.

The Cowboys struggled to go on a run of their own, never sinking more than two baskets in a row since mid-way through the first half.

“We never out of the game, but when you’re behind you have to take better shots and take advantage of your opportunities at the free-throw line, but we didn’t make that happen tonight.

In fact, starting at the 10:17 mark, it would take McNeese six minutes until they earned another field goal, thanks to a jumper by Jacob Ledoux.

The Cowboys were able to cut into the Bearkats off of Ledoux’s momentum, putting up eight unanswered points, now trailing by only 11 with 2:21 left to play.
Kalob Ledoux was able to bring McNeese within ten, now behind the Bearkats 60-50, with a huge dunk with only one-minute remaining.

Sam Houston would make due with a few more trips to the free throw line before closing out the game 67-57.

The Cowboys allowed a season high 51 rebounds, but were able to force 18 turnovers- a season best against Southland opponents.

“Time to put this game behind us, sometimes good teams don’t play well, and that’s what happened tonight. We’re going to get some rest and prepare for a tough game on Saturday” Simmons said.

McNeese will travel to Natchitoches on Saturday to face the Demons on ESPN3. Fans can stay up to date with all things Cowboy basketball on twitter @McNeeseMBB.

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