CONWAY, Ark. (AP) -- John Pichon scored two points with 9 seconds left in the game Saturday to give McNeese State a 58-55 victory over Central Arkansas.
John Ford led the Cowboys (11-15, 6-6 in the Sun Belt Conference) with 16 points. Aldryan Wardell had a team-high 10 rebounds.The two rivals traded free throws in the final two minutes.Central Arkansas (8-19, 2-11) took a 1-point lead when Nate Bowie made two free throws with 1:02 remaining. Quentin Gonzales answered with a jumper to make it 56-55 for Cowboys with only 48 seconds left.UCA missed a shot, but McNeese's John Ford dribbled off his foot and the Bears got the ball back. The Bears missed again and fouled Pichon on the rebound. He hit both from the line.The Bears inbounded and went the length of the floor but Bowie misfired on a three-point attempt. Mitch Rueter rebounded for UCA but came down on the end line with 0.4 seconds left. The Cowboys inbounded and ran out the clock.Durrell Nevels scored 14 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Bowie was the only other UCA player in double figures with 14 points. Rueter had a career-high 11 rebounds.The Bears jumped out to an 11-point lead in the first 10 minutes before the Cowboys closed the gap to six points at halftime, 28-22. McNeese tied it at 36-36 on a dunk by Jarvis Bradley, who finished with 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting.Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way.The Bears shot 34 percent for the game while the Cowboys hit 31.3 percent. UCA outrebounded McNeese 44-40 but had 20 turnovers to the Cowboys 10.