There is no way to prove Monday night was the closest 26-point timed game of all-time, but it certainly has to be in the conversation.
McNeese never trailed at any time, but it was not until the final 6 minutes that the Cowboys (3-3) were able to put Division III Texas-Tyler away for a 73-47 win at Burton Coliseum.
“Of the three non-DI teams that have come in here, we knew they were the best team,” said McNeese coach Dave Simmons. “They were undefeated coming in. I don’t care what the level is, any time a team is undefeated they are coming in with confidence.”
DeSharick Guidry led the way for McNeese with his third consecutive double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. He is the first Cowboy with three straight double-doubles since P.J. Alawoya in 2010-11.
“We have to get other guys rebounding, but he’s doing a heck of a job,” Simmons said of Guidry. “That means you’re doing a lot of work on both ends of the court.”
Guidry took it upon himself to pick up some rebounding slack after the Cowboys were dominated in the category during a three-game losing streak.
“Coach has been stressing a lot that we rebound the ball,” Guidry said. “I just want to get down there and show the young players how to board, because we’re kind of small this year. So we’ve got to rebound more.”
The burden on Guidry became bigger when fellow forward Austin Lewis left late in the first half after twisting an ankle.
“He’s turned both ankles now,” Simmons said. “We have a couple days off, which should help him as far as treatment. Obviously we’re looking to have him going against Lafayette on Saturday night.”
Dontae Cannon and Jeremie Mitchell tied for a game-high 16 points.
McNeese held a lead that bounced between 9-13 points for most of the second half before a spurt where Guidry scored 8 of McNeese’s 10 points to extend the lead to 15.
“They played a soft zone, so we weren’t really used to that,” Mitchell said. “It was kind of difficult to figure out in the first half, but in the second half we got on a couple runs to kind of open up the game.”
The Cowboys shot 46.8 percent (29 of 62) from the field and 47.1 percent (8 of 17) from 3-point range.
The Patriots (4-1) picked up their first loss in their only game against a Division I opponent this season.
NOTES: McNeese added a walk-on, Josh Jagneaux of Bell City, to the roster on Monday.