Christavious Gill's 3-pointer with 5:54 left capped a 12-1 run that gave the Privateers (7-12, 3-5 Southland Conference) the lead for good at 57-49. McNeese State closed the deficit three times to six but got no closer.
The Cowboys (5-13, 3-5) had their largest lead at 42-37 after a 10-2 run with 12 minutes left. New Orleans took it back with eight straight points, McNeese State also responded with six straight and the Cowboys had their last lead at 48-47.
Gill and Kevin Hill added 15 points each and Travin Thibodeaux grabbed 13 rebounds for New Orleans.
Craig McFerrin had 23 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks for McNeese State. Jarren Greenwood added 11 points and Jamaya Burr scored 10.