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McNeese State's Jeremie Mitchell drives past Louisaiana-Lafayette's Shawn Long on his to the basket. (Pankaj Khadka / American Press)<br>

McNeese State's Jeremie Mitchell drives past Louisaiana-Lafayette's Shawn Long on his to the basket. (Pankaj Khadka / American Press)

McNeese downs rival Louisiana-Lafayette

Last Modified: Saturday, December 08, 2012 10:18 PM

By Alex Hickey / American Press

Desharick Guidry made some school history, Adrian Fields made some personal history and McNeese State beat a Division I opponent for the first time this season, downing ancient rival Louisiana-Lafayette 77-72 at Burton Coliseum Saturday night.

The Cowboys (4-3) were propelled by a 50-point second half. McNeese shot 46.8 percent from the field, including 50 percent (16 of 32) in the second half.

“These guys are getting better. It took them a while to get adjusted,” said McNeese coach Dave Simmons. “I think the progression is going good. We beat a very good basketball team. They answered the call for this game.”

Guidry became the first McNeese player since Anthony Pullard in 1989-90 to record four straight double-doubles with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

“Coach has been stressing ‘Rebound, rebound, rebound,’” Guidry said. “We’ve got a small team this year. I’m just trying to go to the glass hard. Everything coming off the glass, I want to get it. That’s my motivation.”

Fields came off the bench and out of the woodwork for a career- and game-high 19 points on 8 of 14 shooting from the field in 28 minutes. The junior from Opelousas had never scored more than 12 in a game.

“The last two days in practice, I saw it,” Simmons said. “I pulled him over and said ‘The last two days have been your best two days since you’ve been here.’ He’s been shooting with a lot of confidence. I told him ‘That’s what you have to carry over into this game,’ and he did.”

Certainly, motivation was a factor for Fields against the Ragin’ Cajuns.

“They didn’t even recruit me out of high school and they were right down the street,” Fields said. “Coach was on me before the game to take more shots. When we went down 10, I knew I had to come off the bench and step up my game.”

McNeese was down 22-13 when Fields checked into the game. The Cowboys took a brief lead before going into halftime down 30-27.

McNeese went on a 14-2 run early in the second half to take a lead it would not give up, though the Cajuns (3-6) were always within striking distance.

ULL mised four shots on one possession as it tried to cut into a 73-68 deficit with under a minute to go. An emphatic fast-break dunk by Kevin Hardy at the other end with 17.7 seconds essentially sealed the game.

McNeese outscored ULL 17-5 off of turnovers and 12-4 in fast-break points. The Cajuns turned the ball over 17 times to McNeese’s 7.

The Cowboys blocked 8 shots. Kevin Hardy and Austin Lewis each had 3 rejections.

Hardy, who moved to point guard midway though the game, also finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

Donate Cannon (14 points) and Jeremie Mitchell (11) also scored in double figures for McNeese.

Three Cajuns scored 17 points — Elfrid Payton, Shawn Long and Steven Wronkoski. Long also had a game-high 17 rebounds.

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