McNeese continues postseason play against Toledo in CBI

The McNeese State Cowboys’ basketball team will continue its season tonight in the CollegeInsider postseason basketball tournament at Toledo.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. in Savage Arena on the Toledo campus.

McNeese and Toledo are among 32 teams that will play in the CollegeInsider tournament, a single elimination event in its fourth season. There will be six rounds of play, including a second round bye for the top four remaining seeded teams. Semifinal games are scheduled for March 23-24, with the finals to be played March 28.

“This is exciting for our team,” Cowboy head coach Dave Simmons said in a university news release about his team’s selection. “We’re very happy to be extending our season and glad for our seniors, especially Daniel Richard and Rudy Turner, who could not play in our conference championship game Saturday.

“We had been taking inventory and closing out everything when we got the call. It’s a great tribute to our players and our university.”

McNeese, which bowed to Lamar in the finals of the Southland Conference tournament on Saturday with Richard and Turner missing the game because of medical reasons, will pit its 17-15 record against the 18-16 mark of Toledo, a Mid-American Conference member

The two schools have never met on the basketball floor before but have played in football.

Toledo produced the second best turnaround in the nation this season, having gone 4-28 a year ago. The team is led by Rian Pearson, who is averaging 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Other double figure scorers are Curtis Dennis at 12.6 points per game and Julien Brown with an 11.9 average.

Both the 6-foot, 9-inch Richard and the 6-foot, 9-inch Turner are expected to be available for Tuesday’s game.

McNeese senior forward Patrick Richard has been the team’s scoring leader all season and led the SLC with an 18.1 average with 580 points. Point guard Dontae Cannon is averaging 11.6 points per game and Jeremie Mitchell, 10.8.

Turner had an 8.4 scoring and a team leading 6.6 rebounding mark, D. Richard led in blocked shots with 33 and freshman Desharick Guidry, who started, averaged 6.2 points and 5.5 rebounds.

As a team, the Cowboys averaged 67 points per game and gave up 65.9. They outrebounded opponents 36.4 to 35.1 per game.

This will be the Cowboys’ second straight postseason appearance. Last year, the squad bowed out to Boston College in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament.

If McNeese wins its first round game, the Cowboys are expected to be paired against the Rice-University of Louisiana at Lafayette winner in the second round.

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