The men’s basketball team went on the road Thursday night to face McNeese State and won 82-78 giving them their first conference road victory of the season.
The Wildcats shot the ball well posting a field goal percentage of 51 percent and made 20 of their 26 free throws.
Scoring started off slow for both teams as the score was tied 6-6 at the 14:00 mark of the first half.
But the Wildcats sparked a 12-3 run giving them an 18-9 lead, however, McNeese went on a 8-0 run right after to make the score 18-17 at the 9:30 mark.
After McNeese caught up, the score stayed tight for the rest of the half and was tied at 34 going into halftime.
The second half was similar to the end of the first as the score stayed neck and neck with the biggest difference being five points for the Wildcats after sophomore forward Hayden Howell hit two free throws to make the score 69-64 with 5:30 left in the game.
With 30 seconds left in the game, redshirt freshman center Jalone Friday broke a 78-78 tie and put the Wildcats ahead by two after making a pair of free throws.
Junior guard Drake Green then sealed the game making two more free throws with five seconds left.
“That really felt like a must win for us,” said Howell. “It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but we’ll take a tough W any day.”
Friday led the team yet again in scoring as he put up 18 points. Sophomore point guard Jaylen Franklin was impressive as well as recording a double-double of 15 points and 10 assists.
Sophomore Hayden Farquhar got the start against McNeese and also contributed a double-double with 16 points, four of them being three pointers, and 11 rebounds.
The men have now won four of their last five games and are ninth in the conference with a 6-8 Southland record and a 12-13 overall record.
Sophomore guard Jaren Lewis talked about the development of their young team.
“We are doing a lot of the little things we weren’t doing earlier in the season and now it’s paying off,” Lewis said. “It feels good having a young team, it makes us feel confident about the future.”
The men will next play at home against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Wednesday.