Cowboys drop out of game 88-75 in first place in UNO

NEW ORLEANS – A slow start for McNeese coupled with a hot first-half shot by New Orleans was too much for the Cowboys to overcome on Saturday afternoon, despite some valiant second-half efforts, as the Cowboys gave up an 88-75 Southland Conference game to first place the Privateers.

Worse, McNeese was without league three-point leader Zach Scott with an injury he suffered against Nicholls on Thursday. Without their sniper, the Cowboys went just 2 of 17 from behind the arc.

The loss was the second in a row suffered by the Cowboys as they fell to 10-18 on aggregate and 4-7 in the league. UNO helped its chances of earning a double bye to the conference tournament in two weeks as it retains its top spot in the standings improving to 9-1 in the conference and 16-9 overall.

Christian Shumate led five Cowboys in double-digit scoring with 20 points to go along with a record nine rebounds. Collin Warren added 12 points, Trae English 11 and Myles Lewis and Kellon Taylor with 10 each.

Derek St. Hilaire scored 27 to beat UNO. Tye Tye Jackson added 14.

The Cowboys shot 38 percent from the field (26 for 68) and hit 21 of 28 from the free throw line. UNO sank 53 percent from the field (30 for 57) and 23 of 37 from the line.

McNeese made things interesting around the park by 6 minutes by cutting the deficit to 71-62, but the Privateers went on an 8-0 run to regain a 79-62 lead. The Cowboys came within 10 a few times later, but UNO made plays when it came to keeping McNeese at bay.

McNeese trailed 44-27 at halftime after starting to hit just 1 of 8 from the field.

The Privateers built a 40-18 lead with 2:22 remaining in the half before the Cowboys finished the final two minutes on a 9-4 run.

Earlier, while leading 10-6, the Privateers scored seven straight points to take their first double-digit lead at 17-6 with 11:30 on the clock. McNeese came back with five straight points behind a Shumate layup and a plus-1 Warren layup to narrow the margin to 17-11.

UNO went on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes to build a 27-11 lead. The UNO margin hovered between 16 and 22 points until McNeese came on to finish the half.

McNeese will return home Thursday when he hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7:30 a.m., following a women’s matchup between the two schools.

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