Two free throws with 11 seconds left in the game by junior guard Jayln Johnson proved to be the winning points in McNeese's 67-66 non-conference women's basketball victory over Wiley College Wednesday night.
"We knew that Wiley was going to be a tough challenge for us," said head coach Brooks Donald Williams. "We are proud of our girls, proud that they fought until the end. After we moved out to a 14-point lead we let them back into the game. They hit some big shots and we got deflated.," said Williams.
Johnson led all players with 21 points including 9 of 12 from the free throw line. Johnson was nearly perfect from the field, canning 6 of 7 attempts.
Baggett ended the game with 14 points and freshman Mercedes Rogers recorded a career high 10 rebounds.
McNeese trailed for most of the first half and took their first lead of the game with 6:50 to play.
That lead didn't stand for long as the Wildcats retook the lead for a short time.
After a seventh tie of the half, Ann Nwosah's layup with 2:55 left started a McNeese 6-0 run to give McNeese a 26-22 halftime lead. The Cowgirls continued its offensive output to start the second half and outscored Wiley 16-6 in the first five minutes of the half to take a 44-30 lead.
McNeese held its double-digit lead up until 10 minutes left to play. The Cowgirls allowed Wiley College to get back into the game, cutting the Cowgirl lead to 61-60 with 2:53 to play on a three-pointer by Kayla Brown.
Brown gave the Wildcats a 62-61 lead on a jumper on their next possession. A jumper by Baggett on the Cowgirls' next trip down the floor gave McNeese the lead again at 63-62.
Both teams would trade baskets on their next possession. With Wiley leading 66-65 with 14 seconds to play, Johnson was fouled; sending her to the line for what would be the game winning free throws.
Wiley had a chance to win the game but turned the ball over with three seconds left. McNeese will take a week off for finals and will host Centenary next Wednesday at 7 p.m.