Only a month into 2024, and we’re already making history in Louisiana’s Playground. McNeese men’s basketball is on fire, with the longest winning streak in the country! That’s right, I’ll say it again, your Lake Charles McNeese Cowboys have the longest winning streak in the country, meaning no one else has won as many consecutive games as the Pokes! We’re all looking at you, March Madness. Not to mention, four out of five of the last home games sold out, marking another record for the Cowboys.
Not only are the Bayou Bandits dominating with their winning streak, but they’re also executing several remarkable plays and keeping us well entertained. In their January 22nd match versus defending conference champions, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, the Cowboys made an 18-point comeback, with an incredible finale buzzer beater by Christian Shumate. Watch here for an accurate representation of Poke Nation to Shumate and the Cowboys’ Monday night performance.
During their showdown with the University of New Orleans on Saturday, January 27th, Shahada Wells and Javohn Garcia each scored 20 points. This marks Wells' eighth 20-point game and the second for Garcia. Shumate's reign didn't stop with the buzzer-beater. He put up 17 points and seven rebounds against UNO, as well as 15 points and a notable eight rebounds against Northwestern State University Demons on Monday, January 29th. DJ Richards was there to impress as well, securing 14 points, and sending the Demons packing! Another major milestone for Shahada Wells arose from the latest victory against Northwestern, scoring his 1000th career point, marking the Cowboys’ 14th consecutive win and putting them 8-0 in conference play. Let’s go Pokes!
In even more exciting news from EPSN, McNeese is projected to have the best record in the nation at 28.3-2.7, beating out the Houston Cougars and Purdue Boilermakers. McNeese ranks fifth for Defensive Points Allowed, with a record-low of only 61.2 average points allowed. For Points Differential, the Cowboys are placed in second, following the Houston Cougars, with an average lead of 19 points per game. Individually, Shahada Wells ranks number four in the country in steals, with an average of 3. With stats like these and a killer fan base, McNeese is expected to continue their supremacy.
The McNeese cowboy’s next faceoff will be this Saturday, February 3rd, in Hammond versus Southeastern and again on Monday, February 5th, with the home-court advantage against Texas A&M Commerce. See the complete schedule and get your tickets here.
McNeese keeps creating headlines as the first-ever beach volleyball season marks its debut this month, with a kick-off tournament at South Beach Volleyball. The Cowgirl Beach Bash takes place Friday, February 23rd, and Saturday, February 24th. Five teams will compete throughout the weekend, battling for the tournament championship and bragging rights. The entire beach volleyball schedule, with times and dates, can be found here. With South Beach boasting a full bar and grill, it’s bound to be a good time!
Sulphur High School takes the spotlight this month in the diamond district, hosting two back-to-back weekend tournaments. The Mike Willis Ford Shootout will be February 22-24 at McMurry Park and Barbe High School, and the SPOT Classic rolls into town from February 29 until March 2nd at McMurry. With a brand-new head coach, everyone is eager to see how Sulphur is going to show out this year. Historically, SHS is one of the hottest baseball programs in the state, making it to the state tournament for the last several years, alongside Barbe, Iowa, Sam Houston, St. Louis, and other local schools.
More sporting events and details can be found on our calendar of events! For the need-to-know information, big-game updates, and successes of the sporting world in SWLA, be sure to check out Where Champions are Crowned, released on the first of each month on visitlakecharles.org. Let’s Play!