Cowboys start slow, then go on scoring binge to beat Carver

Published 1:16 am Tuesday, November 23, 2021

It took almost 14 minutes before McNeese State awoke its afternoon nap Monday, but that was plenty of time to carve up visiting Carver.

Behind a 20-0 run, the Cowboys broke open an ugly and close game early in Burton Coliseum, thumping the winless Cougars 98-54.

The victory was McNeese’s second in five starts on the young season. Both wins have come inside their second home and by a combine 214-110 margin. The Pokes will return to the Legacy Center on campus in January.

Carver fell to 0-9.

“We started off slow and then we picked up the momentum with our defense,” said freshman Christian Shumate. “Today was a good win for us. We have to keep our game going.”

Transfer center Brendan Medley-Bacon led the way for McNeese with 16 points in just under 19 minutes on the floor. Medley-Bacon hit on 6 of 7 shots from the field and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line as he controlled the lane at both ends.

Schumate added 13 points and eight rebounds while Collin Warren finished with 14 as all 12 players who played scored for the Pokes. Warren was coming off a concussion he suffered at TCU 11 days earlier. He wasn’t cleared until Saturday evening after missing a pair of games.

“I felt a little slow out there at the start,” said Warren. “I got going after awhile.”

Warren had 12 of his points in the second half.

“Christian gave us some energy the second time he got in the game that helped spark our run,” said McNeese head coach John Aiken. 

Up just five (23-18) with 6:21 left in the opening half, McNeese ran off the next 20 points before Carver closed on a 6-0 run of its own. The Cowboys led 43-24 at the half.

Medley-Bacon led the way with nine points during the 5:11 spurt, four coming on dunks. Schumate added seven in the run, also dunking twice.

“Once we got our rhythm we really got going,” said Schumate. “We got it going through our defense.”

McNeese forced 27 turnovers with 14 of those coming on steals. 

“We were not on our toes early,” said Aiken. “We were on our heals. We had to get the game going faster. They were too comfortable.”

Dyllon Scott led the Cougars with 16 points.

NOTES: South Carolina transfer TJ Moss missed Monday night’s game with an ankle injury. He worked out before the game and likely could have played if needed according to Aiken…McNeese will hit the road for the next six games including trips to Niceville, Florida, for two games as part of the Emerald Classic on Friday and Saturday. The Cowboys lost in the tourney opener at LSU, 85-46, last Friday in Baton Rouge.