LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) _ Robert Palmer scored 19 points to lead McNeese State to an 83-68 victory Wednesday night over Texas A&M.

The Cowboys (4-1) are off to their best start since 1979-80 when they also won four of their first five games. Texas A&M fell to 4-3.

McNeese went up by a 9-4 score early in the first half but Texas A&M came back to take a one point lead on several occasions. The score was tied at 28-28 with 5:24 left and the Cowboys outscored Texas A&M 12-8 the rest of the way for a 40-34 halftime edge.

In the second half, McNeese jumped out to a 46-36 lead early with a 6-2 run but Texas A&M rallied to within four at 56-52. McNeese then went on a 14-4 run to maintain the lead for good. Their biggest lead was 76-54 with 6:38 left after a three-point play by Rosell Ellis.

Ellis joined Palmer in double figures for McNeese, scoring 18 points. Also in double figures were Tommy Mumford and Pointer Williams with 10 each. Williams, who leads the nation in steals, had seven against Texas A&M.

Texas A&M was led in scoring by Calvin Davis, who had a game high 22 points, while Derrick Hart scored 16, making four 3-point shots.