LAFAYETTE - McNeese State’s Cowboys got behind early and finding themselves having to battle back the entire night, wound up dropping a 78-56 decision to UL-Lafayette here Thursday.
The loss was the fourth in seven games for the Cowboys, now 3-4 on the year, and it was also the second in a row. ULL lifted its record to 4-5.
McNeese will now take a break for semester finals, returing to action on Dec. 10 at home against Bacone College.
Jeremie Mitchell, scoring 11 points in the second half, led the Cowboys with 18 points and he also tied for game high. Patrick Richard, who fouled out of the game with 5:40 left, scored 14 points, only four of them coming in the second half, and Dontae Cannon pushed in 11.
ULL’s Kadeem Coleby tied Mitchell for the game scoring lead with 18 points.
McNeese had held an early lead in the game but a five minute stretch late in the first period during which time the Cowboys couldn’t hit a basket enabled ULL to overcome a six point McNeese lead and go on to a 40-33 halftime advantage.
In the second half the Cajuns went on a 7-2 run and took a double digit lead at 47-35 with 15:52 left in the game.
The Cowboys managed to cut the lead to nine points at several junctures but ULL outscored them 25-12 the rest of the way for the victory.
NEW ORLEANS 56, DILLARD 43: In New Orleans, The University of New Orleans put together a defensive display at Dent Hall in a victory over Dillard.
The UNO (5-4) defense was relentless throughout the game, forcing 25 Dillard (0-10) turnovers.
The miscues by the host squad represented the sixth time in nine games this season in which a Privateer opponent committed at least 23 turnovers for the contest.
“I was proud of our defensive pressure,” said UNO head coach Mark Slessinger. “We stayed solid throughout the night with our game plan defensively and got great contributions from everybody who touched the floor tonight.”
Antonio Wertz posted the second double-double of his career with 28 points and 12 rebounds. The 28 points surpassed the previous career-high of 26 points for the Privateer forward last week in a game against Tulane.
Lovell Cook added another eight points and six rebounds for a UNO team that held the Bleu Devils to a 29.4 field goal percentage for the contest.
The leading scorers for Dillard were Jamal Silas and Terry Church with 12 points apiece.
The Privateers will enjoy a break for final exams before hosting a pair of games at Lakefront Arena.
DILLARD 66, NEW ORLEANS 63: In New Orleans, an Ariel Mitchell jumper with 46 seconds left in the game proved to be the difference as Dillard pulled out a win over the University of New Orleans.
Mitchell scored 15 points for the Lady Bleu Devils who forced two turnovers and watched as a UNO (0-8) shot was off the mark in the final 40 seconds of play.
Dillard’s Jazzmin Smith was the the game high-scorer with 22 points, with Mitchell adding 15.
The Lady Privateers were led by Mirjam Sipos with 19 points, while Keri Thomas added 15. Sipos was one of three players to foul out for UNO alongside teammates Kayla Chaney and Yosha Watson.
UNO will take a 10-day break for final semester examinations before heading to Birmingham Southern on Dec. 11.