McNeese women’s basketball did its part here Wednesday night in picking up a 70-64 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to move one step closer to clinching a spot in next weeks Southland Conference Tournament then had to wait about 30 minutes to find out that New Orleans defeated Southeastern Louisiana that confirmed the Cowgirls would be in the eight team tournament field.
“It feels good to clinch a tournament spot but we knew we had to get this win first,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “Its exciting and I’m beyond proud of this team for their resilience and their never die attitude. Its good to see them rewarded for what they have been fighting for.”
McNeese (12-15, 8-9) scored the opening basket and never looked back as the Cowgirls held the lead the entire game. The Cowgirls held a 35-31 halftime lead that saw the Cowgirls shoot 50 percent from the field and 75 percent from behind the arc. McNeese cooled off a little bit in the second half but was able to maintain the lead heading into the break.
The Cowgirls held its first double digit lead of the game late in the third quarter and scored 12 of its 19 third quarter points in the paint. A jumper by Jasmyn Carswell with 1:08 left in the quarter gave McNeese a 54-43 lead.
The Islanders cut the lead to five points (58-53) early in the fourth before the Cowgirls went on an 8-0 run to take its largest lead of the game, 66-53 with 4:40 left to play. Rogers nailed a three then made good on one of two free throws and Hudnall scored four straight points to extend the lead to 13 points. The Islanders’ Brittany Mbamalu cut the Cowgirls lead to under 10 points on back-to-back three-pointers but the Cowgirls continued to break the full-court press and made their free throws down the stretch. The Cowgirls scored their final four points of the game from the free throw line where they ended the game making 13 of 18 attempts.
Five Cowgirls scored in double figures with Hudnall leading McNeese with 15 points on 6 of 13 from the field. Mercedes Rogers, in her first game back after missing the last two games picked up her fifth double double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Bre’Ashlee Jones, Caitlin Davis and Dede Sheppard all pitched in with 10 points apiece.
Texas A&M’s Emma Young led all players with a game high 27 points on 10 of 18 from the field and a perfect 3 of 3 from three-point range.
McNeese will conclude its regular season by hosting Lamar at 1 p.m. on Senior Day. Hudnall, Sheppard, Carswell and Gabby Guidry will be honored 15 minutes prior to the game.
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