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(Lake Charles, LA) The Dillard Bleu Devils traveled to Lake Charles, Louisiana and lost an exhibition contest to McNeese St. University 80-43 on Tuesday night.
The Bleu Devils, seeking their first victory of the season, were battling a Cowboys' team that finished with a 15-2 home record last season en route to a 21-12 overall record, a South Louisiana Conference Title and a NCAA NIT appearance.
The Bleu Devils hung tough against the Cowboys early in the first half. Although the Dillard struggled early with their shooting, they were able to use a stifling interior defense to keep McNeese St. from jumping out to a huge lead. The Bleu Devils' Jamal Silas came off the bench early in the first half, giving Dillard a spark with 4 points to keep the score close at 16-10. Following a McNeese St. timeout, the Bleu Devils' offense sputtered, which was all the Cowboys needed to extend to a 22-12 lead and take command of the game from that point. The Cowboys clogged the paint, forcing the Bleu Devils to rely on their outside shot, which was not falling. McNeese St. closed the first half with an 11-1 run to lead 38-15 at the break. Dillard shot 30% from the field in the first half after connecting on 2-of-4 field goal attempts to start the game. Jamal Silas lead the Bleu Devils with 8 first half points.
In the second half, the Bleu Devils attempted to establish a rhythm on offense early. Two jumpers by the Bleu Devils' Zach Harmon cut the Cowboys lead to 19 at 38-19. Thereafter, three straight turnovers by the Bleu Devils, which were converted into three straight three-pointers by the Cowboys, blew the game open and sealed the victory for McNeese St.
Jamal Silas led the Bleu Devils with 17 points, including 3-for-6 from behind the three-point arc. Lawrence Etah chipped in with 9 points, while Zach Harmon contributed 6 points and 9 rebounds for the Bleu Devils.
The Bleu Devils will try again for their first victory of the season on Saturday, November 26th when they travel to Loyola University to battle the Loyola Wolfpack. Tipoff will be at 3:00p.m.