Patrick Richard scored 12 points, including five during a 14-0 run to start the second half, as McNeese State defeated Nicholls State 69-53 on Saturday.
The Cowboys (10-18, 5-9 Southland Conference) improved their chances to make the eight-team conference tournament, which begins March 10. With a week left in the regular season, they moved into a tie with the Colonels (9-18, 5-9).
After a 3-pointer by Kenny Franklin Jr. brought Nicholls State within four points at halftime, 28-24, the Cowboys expanded their lead to 42-24 with 12:51 left in the game.
McNeese State outshot Nicholls State 59.3 percent (16-for-27) to 26.3 percent (5-for-19) in the second half.
Diego Kapelan had 11 points, and P.J. Alawoya had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Cowboys, who had a 31-21 rebounding advantage.
Fred Hunter scored 11 points and Anatoly Bose 10 for the Colonels.