McNeese women’s basketball couldn’t overcome a third quarter lull here Wednesday night in its 63-51 Southland Conference loss to Nicholls in its final regular season road game.
Sophomore Caitlin Davis and senior Keara Hudnall led the Cowgirls (11-15, 7-8 SLC) in scoring with 17 and 11 points, respectively. Hudnall was held scoreless in the second half after scoring all 11 in the first half.
The third quarter is where the Cowgirls struggled as they were 1-14 from the field including 0-6 from three-point range and picked up only six rebounds. Nicholls was 9 of 14 from the field in that quarter with 13 rebounds.
The Colonels 13-13, 8-7 SLC) took advantage of their opportunities and scored 28 points in the paint and 20 on second chances. McNeese scored 16 points in the paint and six second chance points.
After leading 24-23 at the half, McNeese struggled from the field and was outscored 23-2 in the third quarter to trail by 20 (46-26). The Cowgirls went on a 12-2 run to get as close as seven points with 1:24 left in the game but ended the game on a 13-3 run with seven of the Colonels’ final nine points of the game coming from the free throw line with the Cowgirls fouling in an attempt to catch up.
McNeese jumped out to an 11-3 lead in first five minutes of the game then Nicholls went on a 12-2 run to take their first lead of the game at 19-17 in the second quarter. Two more free throws by Cassidy Barrios gave Nicholls a 21-17 lead. The Cowgirls put to together a run of its own, (7-2) in the final two minutes of the second quarter to lead 24-23 at the half. All seven points came from Hudnall.
Hudnall sank a three-pointer to bring McNeese to within point with 1:59 left in the quarter. A few second later she made a layup that regained the Cowgirl lead then added two free throws with 26 seconds left in the half. Hudnall ended the half with 11 points, nearly half of the Cowgirls first half points.
Nicholls opened the second half on an 8-0 run to take a 31-26 lead before Dede Sheppard’s jumper ended a long scoring drought. McNeese would go on to outscore Nicholls 20-9 to cut the lead to seven points with 1:24 to play.
McNeese will return home for its final three regular season games. The Cowgirls will host Houston Baptist at 1 p.m. Saturday in a doubleheader with the Cowboys
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