Fred Hunter tallied his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds while T.J. Carpenter added 11 points and five rebounds for Nicholls State, which led 38-22 at halftime.
Dontae Cannon led McNeese State (6-7, 0-3) with 18 points, Ledrick Eackles had 13 and Desharick Guidry chipped in 10.
McNeese State opened the second half on a 27-9 run and took its first lead of the game, 49-47, behind a Cannon layup. McNeese State extended their lead to 56-49 with 6:38 remaining but Nicholls State (3-10, 2-1) outscored the Cowboys 15-7 the rest of the way.
Nicholls State, which has won two of its last three games after losing seven straight, held a 41-32 rebounding advantage—including 17 on the offensive end.