Cowgirls Let First Half Lead Slip Away In 61-54 Loss To Nicholls

Cowgirls Let First Half Lead Slip Away In 61-54 Loss To Nicholls

LAKE CHARLES—Senior Jasmyn Carswell recorded her first double double of the season by scoring a career high 14 points to go along with her 11 rebounds in a 61-54 Southland Conference loss to Nicholls.

"We still haven't put a 40-minute game together," said head coach Kacie Cryer. "In the first half, everything was flowing and everything was going our way and we were really hurting them on the boards. The second half, once again we didn't get a stop early, we go down and don't convert then they score again. We just really have to get better coming out after the half," Cryer said.

The Cowgirls once again dominated the boards by outrebounding Nicholls (8-8, 3-2 SLC) 54-32 and held the Colonels to just three offensive rebounds. Mercedes Rogers picked up 13 while Carswell and Bre'Ashlee Jones grabbed 11 apiece. The 11 for Jones is her career high.

McNeese (6-10, 2-3 SLC) for the second straight game came out on fire in the first half to take a 35-21 halftime lead into the locker room. The Cowgirls held as much as a 16-point lead three times in the second quarter but the second half was totally opposite as it was in their 77-64 loss to New Orleans last Saturday.

After shooting 40 percent from the field (14 of 35) in the first half, the Cowgirls lost their shooting touch in the second half and made only four field goals in the second half, including two in the final 20 seconds of the game. It's been this kind of inconsistency that has hurt the Cowgirls in the last three games of their four game home stand. Now, McNeese will look for that consistency on the road where they will play its next six games. 

"Seems like when things aren't going our way, we all want to do our own thing instead of sticking together and this is where we need to grow. This team is so close to putting a 40-minute game together and it really needs to happen fast," said Cryer.

Nicholls came out in the second half by scoring on their opening possession that started a 7-2 Nicholls run in the first four minutes of the quarter. Nicholls would outscore the Cowgirls 17-7 in the third quarter but McNeese held a four-point lead (42-38) after the third quarter.

The Colonels continued to pound the ball inside to Lilly Marina who ended the game with 12 points after being held to only two in the first half. Tykeria Williams led the Colonels with 17 points, 12 of which game in the second half. The Cowgirls did a good job on Nicholls' leading scorer, Cassidy Barrios. Barrios entered the game averaging 15.3 ppg. but was held to seven points tonight.

The Cowgirls' offensive struggles continued in the final period where they were 3 of 20 from the field including 1 of 9 from three-point range. 

On the other hand, Nicholls was 5 of 11 from the field and 12 of 16 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.

Nicholls took its first lead (42-41) early in the fourth quarter but the Cowgirls would tie the game on a free throw by Jones. The lead would change two more times before Airi Hamilton's free throw with 4:38 gave Nicholls the lead for good. Nicholls would end the game on a 12-2 run with their final seven points coming from the free throw line.

McNeese will hit the road for its next six games beginning with a 2 p.m. game at Southeastern La. this Saturday, Jan. 13.

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