LAFAYETTE – Louisiana ended the first half on a 20-6 run then outscored the McNeese 22-12 in the first 10 minutes of the second half to pull away with an 83-68 win over the Cowboys on Wednesday night in the Cajundome.
McNeese led 29-25 with 7:24 to play in the first half, a lead that was fueled by five turnovers forced onto the Cajuns in the first 13 minutes. But from the 7:24 mark on, UL turned it over just twice and rolled off a 20-6 run to take a 45-35 lead into the half.
The loss was the fourth straight for McNeese (3-7) while UL improved to 5-3 on the season while winning its second straight.
The Cajuns knocked down 11 three-point baskets in the game, seven of those in the first half, and hit 11 of 21 for 52.4 percent for the game from long range while sinking 29 of 63 for 46 percent from the field. The Cowboys were just 5 of 21 from long range for 24 percent and struggled shooting for the game, hitting only 38 percent (25 of 66). McNeese was better at the free throw line, knocking down 13 of 20 for 65 percent.
Kobe Julien led the Cajuns with 20 points behind 6 of 8 shooting including a perfect 4 for 4 from 3-point range. Jordan Brown added 16 points while Isaiah Richards scored 10.
In the second half, the Cajuns went up 46-35 but the Cowboys responded with a 6-0 run behind a basket from Trae English and back-to-back scores by Lewis to cut the margin to 46-41 with 18:18 to play. McNeese turned it over in three of the next four possessions that allowed UL to build back a double-digit lead.
UL took its largest lead of the game at 77-52 with 5:51 to play following a layup by Dou Gueye but McNeese battled back with a 16-3 run to cut the margin to 80-68 with 1:58 to play.
The Cajuns snapped the run with a 3 by Greg Williams to make it an 83-68 game with 1:31 to play and ULL was able to run the clock down for the win.
UL scored the game’s first three points but McNeese scored the next eight to take an 8-3 lead in the first two minutes of the contest.
The Cajuns move on to face Louisiana Tech on Saturday in Ruston, LA. It’s an 11AM tip time in that one.