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New Orleans grabs early lead, beats McNeese St. 75-56

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) Erik Thomas had 17 points and Travin Thibodeaux added 10 with nine rebounds and four assists as New Orleans took control early to ride to a 75-56 win over McNeese State on Thursday night.

New Orleans had a 13-2 run to lead 21-9 midway through the first half. The Privateers (12-7, 7-1) pushed that to 40-22 at the break and coasted to its third straight win to remain atop the Southland Conference standings. New Orleans has won eight of its last nine, falling only to Sam Houston State 70-68.

Michael Zeno was 5 of 8 from the floor for 11 points and Nate Frye added 10 points for the Privateers who shot 54 percent from the floor. They held McNeese State (6-13, 3-5) to 20-of-54 (37 percent) shooting.

Stephen Ugochukwu led the Cowboys with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jacob Ledoux added 10 points.