Cowboys, ULL renew rivalry

Having traveled almost 7,000 miles this season, McNeese State is going to spend the next few days close to home.

Looking to improve chemistry and comfort, the Cowboys will play one game over a 12-day stretch. That comes tonight when McNeese travels to Lafayette for a game against the Ragin’ Cajuns.

“It will be nice to be home for a period and get some work in practice,” said McNeese head coach John Aiken. “Getting to play a game just down the road will be good for us too.”

McNeese (3-6) is on a three-game losing streak and is 0-5 in road games, including losses last week at Seattle and Wyoming.

“We left a lot of points out there with turnovers and missed free throws,” Aiken said. “I liked our intensity but we have to clean those things up.”

Turnovers have been the biggest problem as McNeese is averaging almost one every 2 minutes. The Cowboys are forcing almost 18 a game to help offset that but still are giving away too many possessions, Aiken said.

“There is a lack of familiarity of some of the things we are trying to do,” he said. “There is also a lack of comfort from our guys. We need to get comfortable in our settings.”

Aiken said the Cajuns (4-3) resemble the Cowboys in what they are trying to do.

“They are a carbon copy to us,” he said. “They really look very similar to us. They are big and athletic.

“It should be a battle of defensive wills.”

It will also be a battle of big guys, a throwback in some ways to the old days.

Sophomore Jordan Brown leads ULL with 11.7 points and seven rebounds a game. The 6-foot-11 center will be countered by McNeese’s 7-1 Brendan Medley-Bacon who leads the Cowboys at 11 points and 6.2 boards a game.

Cajun Theo Akwuba (10 ppg) and Cowboy Myles Lewis (10.4) are the only two other players on either team to average in double figures this year.

“I love playing these other Louisiana schools,” Aiken said. “I hope we get a chance to play more in the future.”

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