LAKE CHARLES,(KPLC)-McNeese State women's basketball defeated UAB 61-56 in overtime here Saturday on the final day of the WNIT Consolation bracket. McNeese's Martika Hull scored six of her game eight points in overtime to help the Cowgirls to victory. The win gives the Cowgirls a 2-0 tournament record and 2-1 overall record. UAB fell to 1-2 overall.
"Obviously this is a big win for us over a Conference USA opponent. I loved our fight. We knew they were going to make runs and we had a hard time getting back in our rhythm in the second half. We are honored the WNIT chose McNeese as a host site. That says a lot about the community support we have," said head coach Brooks Donald Williams.
Ashlyn and Caitlyn Baggett led a trio of Cowgirls in double figures with 13 apiece. Kendra Wells chipped in 10 and led the Cowgirls with seven rebounds.
With the game tied at 53 all in regulation, McNeese outscored the Blazers 8-3 in overtime.
McNeese led 36-18 at the half and shot 48.3 percent from the field.
"These girls have a lot of fight in them. Our schedule is tough so that when they get in these type of situations, they are prepared, " said Williams.
UAB outscored McNeese 18-6 in the first 12 minutes of the second half to cut the Cowgirl lead to 42-36. UAB took its first lead of the game (49-48) with 3:03 left on a three pointer by LaShaunda Pratt. McNeese retook the lead on the next possession on an Alaina Verdin jumper. The Blazers responded and scored on its next possession on a layup by Amber Jones to take a 51-50 lead with 2:07 left in the game. Verdin tied the game at 51 all on a free throw. Ashlyn Baggett;s running jumper then gave the Cowgirls a 53-51 lead with 1:10 left in regulation. UAB's Pratt was fouled with :59 seconds left and made both free throws to tie the game at 53.
McNeese's Martika Hull stole the inbounds pass with 7.2 seconds left then the Cowgirls called timeout to setup a play.. Alaina Verdin missed a jumper in the lane and UAB's Michaelea Kleist grabbed the rebound with 1.1 seconds before UAB called a timeout. UAB let the clock run out, sending the game into overtime.
"Martika is a winner, she got some big rebounds and putbacks today," said Williams.
McNeese jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game then extended its lead to 10 (17-7) with 10:09 left in the half. The Cowgirls held an 18 point lead twice in the half, once with 4:50 left in the game and then at the half.
McNeese returns to action on Monday, Nov. 21 to host UL-Lafayette at 7 p.m.