Some basketball coaches consider the post season tournaments as a new season and no matter how you play in the regular season, if you can get through the tournament, you can advance to the playoffs.
The McNeese State Cowboys, playing as the number eight seed in the Southland Conference men’s basketball tournament, upset the number five seed, the Nicholls State Colonels, 62-59 and advanced to the second round to face Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday.
Trailing for most of the game, the Cowboys tied it up at the 2:41 mark in the second half when Desharick Guidry connected on two free throws to make the score 54-all.
Continued pounding of the boards by McNeese gave them a three point lead at the 1:31 mark.
Nicholls State came back with six seconds to go to cut the Cowboys’ lead to one, but it was no avail.
Dontae Cannon connected on two foul shots, after being fouled by Linden Smith-Hyde.
His two gave McNeese a three point lead with four seconds left.
Nicholls’ Dantrell Thomas shot the ball in three-point range with one second left, but his shot could not find the net.
His missed shot gave McNeese the win and the right to advance.
All Nicholls State received was a trip back home to Thibodaux, Louisiana.
For McNeese, Cannon tallied 23 points along with 6 rebounds.
Kevin Hardy added 11 and Jeremie Mitchell contributed nine.
Nicholls was led by Fred Hunter with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
T.J. Carpenter scored 14 while Thomas added 10.
The Southland Conference tournament will continue on Thursday, March 14 and will conclude on Saturday, March 16 with the men’s and women’s finals.