Backups play key role in McNeese's 84-46 win over Louisiana College

Backups play key role in McNeese's 84-46 win over Louisiana College

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese women's basketball didn't show any signs of being rusty after an eight day layoff here Monday night in an 84-46 victory over Louisiana College.

In fact, McNeese (4-4) had its best shooting night of the season, ending the game with a 42.9 field goal percent on 33 of 77 from the field. McNeese shot above 40 percent in three of the four quarters. The 84 points is the second most scored by the Cowgirls this season, only to the 86 scored in the triple overtime loss at UL-Lafayette in its previous game on Dec. 3. McNeese outrebounded the Wildcats (5-3) 56-43.

"I felt like our energy and intensity was good from the start," said head coach Kacie Cryer. "We looked fresh after our eight day layoff and I thought we shot the ball really well. Really pleased with our defensive effort, I thought we did a really good job on both ends."

After holding La. College to four points in the first quarter, which is the fewest points allowed by a Cowgirl team since the game switched to quarters, the Cowgirls only allowed eight points in the second quarter and took a commanding 43-12 lead into the locker room at the half.

"These girls never give up and are improving each and every day. I'm glad I had a chance to give a lot of players some playing time tonight," Cryer said.

Seniors Shayln Riley, Dede Sheppard and Mercedes Rogers all scored in double figures. Riley came off the bench to score a career high 19 points and missed her first career double-double by one rebound, grabbing nine on the night. Riley was 7 of 12 from the field and made good on all five free throw attempts. 

Sheppard continued her scoring output with 18 points on 7 of 10 from the field including two three-pointers. She scored the games first six points and seven of the first nine McNeese points to begin the second half. At one point in the game, Sheppard outscored Louisiana College by herself. 

Rogers capped the Cowgirl double figure scoring with 10 points on 4 of 7 from the field. Junior Cynthia Rivas came off the bench to lead McNeese in rebounds with a career high 11. Rivas picked up seven on the defensive end and four on offense. 

All 12 players that suited up played at least 10 minutes and all five starters played 20 or less minutes. Freshman Haley Cooley played a team high 26 minutes and dished out a career high six assists.

La. College was led in scoring by Rachel Johnson and Brooke Jones who both scored nine points apiece.

McNeese will take to the road for its next four games beginning with a 12 p.m. game at nationally ranked Baylor on Wednesday. The next home game for the Cowgirls will be its Southland Conference hone opener against Northwestern State on Dec. 30.

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