LAKE CHARLES—McNeese women's basketball erased a 14 point deficit midway through the third quarter and came away with a 65-61 win over Louisiana-Monroe here Sunday behind a career high 19 points from Regan Bolton.
"This was a huge win for us today," said head coach Kacie Cryer. "Coming off a loss against a good Grambling team, we went back to work and got better. We never hung our heads when we got down by fourteen, we just executed and clawed ourselves back into by picking up our energy and fight."
Bolton ended her career game by going 6 of 12 from the field including 5 of 8 from three-point land. She was also perfect from the charity stripe, making both attempts.
McNeese (3-2) struggled from the field and trailed for most of the first half and were down 39-32 at intermission.
"We missed some easy shots but our defense is what got us back into the game. When we switched to our zone defense, that really bothered them," Cryer said.
Sophomore point guard Caitlin Davis started the comeback by scoring two straight layups to bring McNeese within 10 points (48-39. A layup by Gabby Guidry on the next possession cut the lead to eight then Bolton nailed a three to cut the ULM (2-2) lead to five with a little over two minutes in the third quarter. After a ULM layup by Gabriella Cortez brought the lead back up to seven, Bolton knocked down another trey to cut the lead to four (50-46) as the third period ended.
"Regan was huge for us today. Her shots hadn't been falling like she wanted them to but she stayed the course. Here three's came at crucial times in the game. I could go down the line and tell you how each player made contributions to the win," said Cryer.
McNeese opened the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 51-50 lead two minutes into the quarter. A layup by Dede Sheppard and another three-pointer by Bolton gave the Cowgirls the slim lead. ULM retook the lead an a Cortez three-pointer for a 53-51 lead then two free throws by Arsula Clark upped the lead to 55-51.
Keara Hudnall took matters into her own hands and scored the Cowgirls' next seven points to give McNeese a three point lead and one they never gave up as the Cowgirls used solid defense down the stretch.
After ULM cut the lead to 63-61 with 42 seconds left in the game, Sheppard sealed the win by making two free throws with one second left on the clock.
Senior Mercedes Rogers chipped in 14 points with 11 coming in the first half. For the second time this season, Davis dished out double figure assists, tying her career high of 11 she set against LSUA one week ago.
Despite being outrebounded 42-37, McNeese was led in rebounds by Davis Sheppard and Jasmyn Carswell who all have five apiece.
Cortez ended the game with a double double and led all players with a game high 31 points and 13 rebounds.
McNeese will conclude its four game home stand by hosting Tulane at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29.
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