NEW ORLEANS — After a double-overtime loss to McNeese, the UNO Privateers ended their time in Katy, Texas with a dominant showing against Houston Baptist and a hard-fought win over Northwestern State.

“I think it gave our guys confidence that we can close out these close games. We can come back and bounce back after a tough experience. I think it just gave them a lot of self-confidence that we can do this and how we can move forward in doing it,” says UNO head basketball coach Mark Slessinger.

Three games into Southland play, balance and leadership have helped the Privateers a perfect, 3-0.

Balance in a talented backcourt and a core group of bigs.

Leadership in the form of guards Derek St. Hilaire and Troy Green.

The tandem of Green and St. Hilaire is averaging 43 points on 40 percent shooting and 14 boards in their last 3 games.

“They just play more efficiently. I think part of getting older and getting more mature is you get a little more efficient. You don’t waste steps, you don’t waste movements and I think those guys have done that. I think when you look at their percentages over this run that we are on I think that their percentages reflect that. When you look at what they’re doing in the amount of minutes and amount of shots that they’re taking, it’s really incredible,” says Slessinger.

Numbers that have helped take down preseason favorite Nicholls and Southeastern at the Lakefront Arena.

And numbers that have helped in an impressive start to conference play, but one just three games into a 14-game conference schedule.

“We were very lucky to have 3 at home. Now we have a 4-game road swing, starting with 2 this week, and every one of them will be tough. I think the parody in this league is incredible. Houston Baptist was 0-3 in the preseason tip-off tournament. They come back, and they’re 2-1, and the 1 loss has been on a buzzer-beater at McNeese. Across the board, every night is going to be a great game,” says Slessinger.

UNO hits the road to play Houston Baptist Thursday night.

For the full schedule, click here.