HOUSTON,TX (KPLC)- McNeese State's women's basketball team won their fifth straight game with a 72-59 win over Houston here Saturday to improve to 5-1 on the year. The 5-1 start is the best start under head Coach Brooks Williams and is the second best start since the 1996-97 team started 6-0.
"Anytime we can win in a tournament environment, it is very helpful for the end of the season. I'm really proud of the girls for getting prepared and ready to play. Playing back-to-back tournament' is a great learning lesson," said head coach Brooks Donald Williams.
The Cowgirls had four players score in double figures . Caitlyn Baggett led all scorers with 19 points and dished out six assists. Ashlyn Baggett scored 14 points, Candace LaCombe scored 13 and Martika Hull recorded her second consecutive double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
McNeese outscored Houston 36-29 in the second half and ended the game shootinh 41.0 percent from the field. The Cowgirls knocked down 25 of 61 attempts including six three-pointers. The Cowgirls made good on 16 of 21 free throws for a 76.2 percent. Despite being outrebounded in the first half, the Cowgirls ended the game by outrebounding the Cougars 37-35.
McNeese began the game with a 12-0 start in the first five minutes of the game. Layups by Ashlyn and Caitlyn Baggett then back to back three's by Candace LaCombe followed by another Catilyn Baggett layup gave the Cowgirls the early lead. The Cowgirls' defense was stellar during that time as well. Houston scored their first basket of the game with 15:06 in the half. The Cowgirls held a double figure lead for most of the half with its largest lead of 13 twice. Raiyawna Gatlin gave McNeese a 13 point lead on a layup with 13:48 left and then again on a bank shot at the 10:10 mark.
Houston cut into the Cowgirl lead with most of their points coming from the free throw line. Houston scored six of its final nine points of the half from the charity stripe. McNeese held a 36-30 halftime lead.
McNeese will travel to UL-Monroe Wednesday before returning home to face Southern (N.O.) at noon Dec. 3.