By McNeese Assistant SID Pam LaFosse:
HAMMOND— McNeese rallied from an early eight point deficit in the second half to defeat Southeastern Louisiana 75-61 in Southland Conference action here Thursday.
The Cowgirls held a 38-34 halftime lead but Southeastern La. started the second half on a 12-2 run to take a 48-40 lead with 14:28 left to play. Southeastern La. held as much as an eight point lead four times in the second half, the last time with 10:07 left in the game.
Trailing by eight points with 10:07 left in the game, McNeese began their comeback and went on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 54 with 7:09 left on a NeTanya Jones layup.
Southeastern La. retook the lead (56-54) the next trip down the floor on a layup by Elizabeth Styles. Jones would make one of two free throws with 6:27 left to cut the deficit to one point 56-55. Arianna James picked up a steal and dished to Amber Donnes who made a layup and was fouled to give McNeese a 57-56 lead with 6:02 left. From that point on, the Cowgirls never gave up the lead and held Southeastern La. without a field goal in the final 5:41 of the game.
McNeese had four players score in double figures and was led by Allison Baggett's 24 points. Baggett was 11 of 23 from the field including two three-pointers. Victoria Rachal ended the game with 14 on 6 of 10 from the field. Cecilia Okoye and Jones chipped in 10 apiece. Okoye led the Cowgirls with seven rebounds.
McNeese shot 50.0 percent from the field, making 31 of 62 of their shots. The Cowgirls ended the game making 9 of 15 free throws despite not attempting a free throw in the first half. McNeese forced Southeastern La. to turn the ball over 17 times while only committing nine miscues of their own.
Southeastern La. shot 36.5 percent from the floor and 71.0 percent from the free throw line (22-31). The Lady Lions were led in scoring by Symone Millers 16 points. Aja Gibson had 15 and Nanna Pool and Annessa DeLaCruz both had 10.
McNeese scored the first six points of the game to take a 6-0 lead three minutes into the game on a layup by NeTanya Jones. The Cowgirls increased their lead to six points (9-3) on a three-pointer by Allison Baggett with 16:58. The Cowgirls continued to sustain its lead and held as much as a nine point lead (26-17) with 11:02 left in the half. Both teams traded baskets for the final five minutes of the half and the Cowgirls took a 38-34 lead into the locker room.