LAKE CHARLES-- Redshirt freshman Bre’Ashlee Jones and senior Mercedes Rogers both picked up double-doubles to lead McNeese women’s basketball in a 72-67 Southland Conference win over Northwestern State here Saturday.
It’s the first time since March 9, 2017 that McNeese has two players record double-doubles. For Jones, its her first career double-double (15 pts., 12 reb.) while Rogers, who came off the bench picked up her 10th career double-double (17 pts., 11 reb.). With the 11 rebounds, Rogers moves into 10th place on McNeese’s career list.
McNeese (6-7, 2-0 SLC) for the second time this year double figure scoring from four players today. Joining Jones and Rogers in double figure scoring was Caitlin Davis (13 pts.) and Regan Bolton (12 pts.) The 15 points and 12 rebounds for Jones also marked her career high’s in both categories. Davis nearly missed her second career double-double, ending the game with nine assists. McNeese dominated the glass by outrebounding NW State 44-28. McNeese was credited with 23 offensive boards and 21 on the defensive end.
Northwestern State (5-8, 0-2 SLC) opened the game on fire from the field, particularly from three-point range. The Lady Demons jumped out to an 8-2 lead then led 15-4 with just over three minutes left in the first quarter. NW State was blistering from behind the arc in the period, making 5 of 7 to hold a 26-13 first quarter lead.
The Cowgirls picked up their defensive intensity in the second quarter and slowly cut into the lead. The Cowgirls also took advantage of some Lady Demon turnovers and 11 offensive rebounds to score 16 second chance points including 12 from the paint to outscore NW State 22-9 in the second quarter.
Trailing by double digits for most of the second quarter but Dede Sheppard’s three-pointer at the 4:06 mark ignited the Cowgirl offense that would go on a 13-2 run to end the quarter to send both teams into the locker room tied at 35 apiece at the half.
Both teams opened the third quarter trading baskets and with the game tied at 41 midway through the third, McNeese took the lead for good on two free throws by Davis before Rogers scored the next six Cowgirl points for a 49-41 lead. NW State would end the quarter scoring the next four points for a 49-45 McNeese lead.
McNeese continued to build on its lead and held its largest lead of the game (64-50) but NW State wouldn’t go away that easy. The Lady Demons went on a 15-3 run within a four minute span to cut the lead to two (67-65) with 1:22 left to play. McNeese capitalized on its free throws down the stretch, scoring its final five points from the charity stripe to come away with the win.
Northwestern State’s Nautica Grant scored a game high 27 points to lead the Lady Demons. Grant was 8 of 17 from the field including 5 of 13 from three-point range. Libba Gilliam added 12 points on 4 of 8 from the field.
McNeese will remain home to host Abilene Christian at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3
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