LAFAYETTE— Seniors Dede Sheppard and Keara Hudnall both scored career high’s with 27 and 26 points, respectively in a 98-86 triple overtime loss to UL-Lafayette here Sunday. The Cowgirls came from behind in regulation as well as the first two overtimes behind hustle plays from several players. A few Cowgirls stepped up tonight to help handle the ball because starting guard Caitlin Davis was face guarded the entire game.
“This shows you the fight these kids have,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “We got down several times and we clawed our way back into it every time. I just can’t ask for anything else from these kids, they literally continue to give everything they have and are leaving it on the court and I can’t ask for anything else.”
McNeese (3-4) was outscored 16-4 in the third overtime with 12 of the 16 Cajun points coming from the free throe line. McNeese had five players foul out in the game and UL-Lafayette (3-5) had their best shooting night from the field this season. The Cajuns ended the game shooting 50.0 percent from the field (34-68) while the Cowgirls shot 40.3 percent (31-77) from the field. Davis ended the game with with 12 points and four assists. Bre’Ashlee Jones, Jasmyn Carswell and Hudnall all had eight rebounds apiece.
ULL had four players scored in double figures and three scored at least 20 points. Simone Fields led the Cajuns with 25 points on 10 of 14 from the field.
The third overtime was the second triple overtime for McNeese in the last two years. McNeese fell 90-86 at New Orleans in 2015.
In the first overtime, ULL held a 62-60 lead with 53 seconds but Sheppard stole the inbounds pass and scored to tie the game. ULL wasn’t able to get a shot off, sending it to a second overtime.
In the second overtime, McNeese took the early lead on a three-pointer by Hudnall but ULL went an 8-0 run to take a 79-74 lead. ULL fouled Sheppard behind the three-point line with 2.0 left in the game. Sheppard made all three free throws to tie the game at 82 apiece and the game goes into a third overtime.
McNeese opened the game on fire and particularly Dede Sheppard who scored the Cowgirls’ first four points and seven of their first 11. McNeese held a 13-6 lead in the first five minutes of the game. Following the first media timeout, the Cajuns came out on fire while the Cowgirls cooled off. UL-Lafayette went on a 14-2 run to take a 22-15 first quarter lead.
The Cowgirls went on a scoring run of its own in the second quarter on layups by Mercedes Rogers and Bre’Ashlee Jones and a free throw by Jones to cut the lead to four points points early in the quarter. Shayln Riley’s layup and a Jones jumper brought McNeese to within one (32-31) but ULL ended the quarter by scoring the final four points to take a 36-31 halftine lead.
McNeese went on another run in the third quarter to cut the Cajun lead to two (42-40) with 3:47 left then tied the game at 48 all with 24 seconds left on a layup by Keara Hudanll. The Cajuns caught the Cowgirls sleeping on defense and scored on a layup with eight seconds to take a 50-48 lead as the third quarter ended.
The Cowgirls were held to one point in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter and trailed by as many as 10 points. The Cowgirls fought their way back to tie the game at 60 all with 1:19 to play. ULL had a chance to take the lead with 27 second to play but missed two free throws. The Cowgirls grabbed the rebound and had two chances to win the game but missed both as time expired, sending the game into overtime.
McNeese will return home on Dec. 11 to host Louisiana College for the final home game until Dec. 30.
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