LAKE CHARLES—McNeese women’s basketball had a scoring lapse in the third quarter that ultimately led to its 77-64 Southland Conference loss to New Orleans here Saturday.
With the Cowgirls (6-9, 2-2 SLC) leading 39-32 at the half, UNO (6-9, 2-2 SLC) outscored McNeese 23-4 in the third quarter to take the lead for good.
“They came out more aggressive than us in the third quarter and made a run,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “We had the shots we wanted in the game, we just didn’t finish them and that hurt us.”
The Cowgirls did a good job on UNO’s leading scorer Randi Brown in the first half, holding her to six points and 17 for the game but it was Kayla Mundy who did most of the damage, ending with a game high 25 points. Shania Woods added 14 and Mariah Wright scored 13.
For the Cowgirls, once again they controlled the boards, outrebounding UNO 43-34 but missed several crucial chip shots under the basket in the fourth quarter.
Keara Hudnall led a trio of Cowgirls in double figures with 16 points. Mercedes Rogers scored 14 and Dede Sheppard scored 13, all coming in the first half.
After trailing for most of the first half, the Cowgirls ended the half on a 12-0 run to take a 39-32 lead into the dressing room.
The teams traded baskets early in the game and UNO held a 14-9 lead but Sheppard scored the next six Cowgirl points to cut the lead to two, 20-19. The Cowgirls stayed within striking distance until the Cowgirls made their run. McNeese would outscore UNO 15-3 in the final three minutes of the half including the final 12 points of the half. Hudnall scored seven straight points followed by six from Rogers before the Cowgirls ended the half on back-to-back thee-pointers from Sheppard and Gabby Guidry.
UNO came out of the locker room and outscored McNeese 23-4 in the third quarter to take a 55-43 lead. Most of the Privateers’ damage came from behind the arc where they equaled their total amount made in the first half. UNO was 4 of 13 from three-point range in the first half and were 4 of 5 from behind the arc in the third quarter.
“It’s frustrating for not coming out after the half like we started the game but you have to give UNO credit as well for picking up their intensity,” Cryer said.
McNeese made a 10-0 run to cut the UNO lead to four (64-60) with 2:48 to play but the Privateers would go on a final 7-2 run to end the game.
The Cowgirls will return home next Wednesday, Jan. 10 to conclude its four game home stand against Nicholls. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
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