McNeese State's Austin Lewis and Louisiana Tech's Michale Kyser go for the rebound in the first period. (Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 5:23 PM
It turns out the 23-minute lighting delay that held up Wednesday night’s opening tip between McNeese and Louisiana Tech was merely foreshadowing.
Both teams shot lights out from the field in the first half, but the Cowboys did it a little better in the long run as they downed the Bulldogs 80-72 for their fourth consecutive victory.
“This win kind of installs a lot of confidence,” said Cowboys guard Jeremie Mitchell. “We’re on this four-game winning streak and beat two teams people probably thought we wouldn’t beat. We’re believing in the system more and it’s going to help leading into this road trip.”
The game was delayed because the Civic Center’s court lights failed to turn back on right away following player introductions. The delay allowed both teams to have an extended shootaround, which turned out to be a good thing. McNeese shot 52.5 percent (32 of 61) from the field, including 60.7 percent in the first half.
“It is a shooter’s gym,” said sophomore guard Kevin Hardy. “It seems every shot we put up in this place goes in.”
Five Cowboys (5-3) scored in double figures, led by Desharick Guidry’s 18 points. Guidry also hauled in 11 rebounds, making him the first Cowboy with five consecutive double-doubles since Fred Chaffould in 1981-82.
“My team needed me to rebound and get putbacks,” Guidry said. “That’s what I’ve been doing.”
McNeese also got a huge contribution from Craig McFerrin, who made his season debut after missing the second half of last season with a broken collarbone and the first semester of this season for academic reasons.
McFerrin came off the bench and made his first five shots on his way to 14 points.
“It’s been very frustrating. I had to sit back and do my time, practice hard so I could be ready for game time,” McFerrin said. “It was a blessing. I had my first 5 good shots to help the team and build momentum, and we took it all from there.”
Dontae Cannon added 15 points. Hardy (12 points) and Mitchell (11) also chipped in.
The Cowboys started the game in an 11-0 hole before zooming back during a stretch when they made 11 of 12 field goals against the Bulldogs’ press.
“We knew they were a pressing team,” said Cowboys head coach Dave Simmons. “A lot of that was dunks or easy shots getting them out of the press.”
McNeese stifled Tech’s leading scorer, guard Raheem Appelby. The sophomore, who was averaging 19 points per game, was limited to four points on 2-of-10 shooting.
JL Lewis came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with 14 points. The Bulldogs (8-3) shot 42.9 percent (30 of 70) from the field.