Coming into Monday night’s matchup, the McNeese men’s basketball team started a perfect 5-0 in conference play. Will Wade’s team found themselves in a deep hole to begin the second but rallied back to tie the game late. Chrisitan Shumate saved the Cowboys with a last-second shot to give McNeese the 62-61 win, improved to 17-2, and stayed undefeated in Southland conference play.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Antavion Collum got the offensive rebound off Javohn Garcia’s miss and scored later in the possession as Shahada Wells assisted his three-pointer for the game’s first points. Corpus-Christi took their first lead of the game within the next minute as Garry Clark got a two-hand slam and Jordan Roberts made the open mid-range shot from the wing.
The game continued to stay close as each team continuously matched shot-for-shot and no one took more than a three-point advantage for most of the first half.
McNeese’s Omar Cooper blew past his defenders for a couple of layups before both teams’ back-to-back turnovers and four straight missed three-pointers. After a few shots by Garcia and Wells, the Cowboys went on a 7-3 run that was capped off by a deep three by Collum to put McNeese up 25-19 with 7:14 left.
Texas A&M Corpus-Christi came back quickly and went on a 12-5 run to finish the first half. The Cowboys started to turn the ball over down the stretch and went to the locker room down by one.
The momentum for the Islanders continued to begin the second half as Jordan Roberts and Owen Dease made back-to-back threes in the first two possessions. Roberts continued to score with a layup off of a Marion Humphrey steal, knocked down another shot from distance, and then made both of his free throws before Stephen Giwa got the easy dunk.
McNeese coach Will Wade burned his second timeout in the first five minutes after the Giwa two-hand slam but Roberts made one more layup to cap off the 17-0 run that started the second half.
DJ Richards checked in for the Cowboys and became a spark on offense as he scored the team’s first nine points courtesy of a couple of three-pointers, including an and-one. McNeese started to pick up the pace as Richards got the rebound and found Wells for the transition euro step. A Collum layup, three at the top of the key by Richards, and a pair from the charity stripe finished a 19-6 run and made it a five-point difference with under seven minutes to go.
McNeese continued to chip at the lead of the islanders as Wells knocked down a three and Garcia scored four straight before Christian Shumate tied the game at 58.
Dian Wright-Forde gave A&M Corpus-Christi the two-point edge while Wells missed his second free throw with 1:14 left. Mike Saunders got the steal off of Roberts and Wright-Forde fouled in the final eight seconds. Shumate missed both of his shots from the stripe as Wright-Forde came down with the board at the 7.7 mark and was fouled by Richards.
Wright-Forde missed his second free throw and Roberts mistakenly sent Mike Saunders Jr to the line with 3.2 left. Saunders Jr missed the second shot and Collum missed on the put-back but Shumate tipped the ball in with .3 seconds to go. That bucket gave McNeese the 62-61 win to stay undefeated in conference play.
BIG NUMBER: 18
The McNeese Cowboys were down by as many as 18 points early on in the second half but were able to go on a big run and keep themselves in the game. Will Wade’s squad managed to tie the game late and eventually won on a last-second shot to complete the comeback and defeated the Texas A&M Corpus-Christi Islanders 62-61.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: DJ Richards Jr
Richards was the spark that the Cowboys needed to even consider making the comeback as he scored 12 points, knocked down three three-pointers, and grabbed four rebounds in the come-from-behind victory on Monday night.
UP NEXT: The McNeese Cowboys basketball team will return home on Saturday, January 27th as they host the New Orleans Privateers. Tipoff in the Legacy Center is set for 4:00 p.m.