The Cowboys, who had been up by as many as 15 points with nine minutes left in the game, were reliable on the free throw line in staving off a Northwestern rally.
Ford made two free throws with 18 seconds left and the Cowboys up 80-79. Then Gonzales made the final point of the night from the line with 11 seconds remaining.
The Demons had one last shot but it fell short and the Cowboys rebounded for the win.
McNeese (10-15, 5-6 Southland Conference) scored seven of its final nine points from the line. Jarvis Bradley led the Cowboys with 21 points while Ford had 18, John Pichon 13, Troy Aaron 11 and Gonzales 10.
McNeese held a 37-27 edge in rebounding.