LAKE CHARLES- Senior Mercedes Rogers led McNeese with a double-double (13 pts., 13 reb.) and was one of four Cowgirls to score in double figures Sunday in a season opening 76-61 win over Southern-New Orleans.
"I thought our defensive effort was good," said head coach Kacie Cryer. "I'm really pleased with our effort, obviously we have things we need to improve on but it's a good win to start the season. We had a lot of players that stepped up and played well. We outrebounded really well and that's just effort."
Senior Keara Hudnall, who is coming off a redshirt season, led McNeese in scoring with 17 points. Senior Dede Sheppard and sophomore Regan Bolton also scored in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
McNeese dominated the boards by outrebounding the Knights 54-38. Rogers led a trio of Cowgirls in rebounds picking up seven on offense and six on defense. Senior Jasmyn Carswell was credited with 11 rebounds, also picking up seven on offense. Redshirt Freshman Bre'Ashlee Jones grabbed 10 boards with seven coming on defense. Sophomore point guard Caitlin Davis tied her career high with seven assists.
The Cowgirls controlled the game from the opening tip and were in command for most of the game. McNeese held a 23-7 lead in the first quarter off nine first quarter points by Hudnall. SUNO used an 8-2 run to close out the first quarter to cut the McNeese lead to 10 (25-15).
The Knight's continued their scoring run in the second quarter and got as close as four points (28-24) with six minutes remaining but McNeese slowly increased its lead and held a 44-31 halftime lead.
McNeese opened the third quarter on a 10-4 run to take a 20-point lead (55-35) and held its largest lead of the game, 29 points midway through the fourth quarter.