McNeese made a season high 10 three-pointers here Friday but it wasn’t enough in its 65-59 road loss at Southern Methodist in the Cowgirls’ final game before they break for the Christmas Holiday.
Caitlin Davis was the only Cowgirl to score in double figures with 18 points on 6 of 12 from the field and 3 of 6 from behind the arc. Regan Bolton added nine with all her points coming from three-point range. Jasmyn Carswell and Keara Hudnall led McNeese in rebounds with six rebounds apiece.
The Cowgirls shot 30.6 from the field (19-62), 30.3 from three-point (10-33) and made 11 of 14 (78.6) from the free throw line and were outrebounded 48-35. SMU shot 35.4 from the field and had three players score in double figures. Kiara Perry led the Mustangs with a double-double (12 pts., 14 reb.). Ariana Whitfield scored 17 points and McKenzie Adams scored 15.
McNeese (4-7) struggled to score at the end of all four quarters and it wasn’t any different in the fourth quarter. With the game tied at 58 all with a little over five minutes to play, the Cowgirls went cold and missed their last seven field goals in that time. The only point scored in the last five minutes was a free throw by Davis with two seconds left to play.
SMU (6-6) started the game by scoring the first five points of the game before McNeese scored six straight to take a 6-5 lead but SMU ended the first quarter on a 11-1 run to hold a 21-11 lead. The Cowgirls were plagued by fouls and had two players with two fouls in the first quarter including starters Bre’Ashlee Jones and Jasmyn Carswell.
With SMU leading 25-14 in the second quarter, McNeese went on an 8-0 run using two three-pointers by Bolton to cut the lead to three (25-22). SMU would go on another run to take another 10-point lead 34-24.
McNeese fought back to cut the lead to four points (36-32) with 1:30 left in the second quarter on an unusual five-point play. Gabby Guidry hit a three-pointer and a foul was called on SMU under the basket that sent Dede Sheppard to the line for two, she made both free throws. SMU held a 39-35 lead at the half but the Cowgirls ended the quarter with momentum after Bolton hit her third three-pointer as the quarter ended.
The Cowgirls opened the third quarter by scoring the first six points to take a 41-39 lead, its first lead since early in the game. For the next two minutes both teams traded baskets. With the Cowgirls holding a 45-43 lead following a Hudnall layup, SMU went on an 8-0 run that included back to back threes that gave the Mustangs a 51-45 lead. SMU ended the quarter on a 10-3 run to hold a 53-48 lead.
The Cowgirls once again fought their way back go tie the game at 58 all with five minutes left in the game but went cold from the field for those final five minutes of the game and missed its final six shots of the game while SMU would go on a 7-1 run in those final five minutes to seal the win.
McNeese will return to the court on Dec. 28 when they will travel to San Antonio, Texas to begin Southland Conference action at Incarnate Word.
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