McNeese drops regular season finale to Lamar, seeded eighth in SLC tourney

McNeese drops regular season finale to Lamar, seeded eighth in SLC tourney
(Source: McNeese)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese women's basketball dropped its final regular season game and final game that will be played in Burton Coliseum to Lamar here Saturday by a 81-72 score on senior day. Lamar clinched the regular season title with the win.

"We played really well and our seniors gave everything they had. I'm really proud of their effort they are a great group that have been through a lot of ups and downs in their career," said head coach Kacie Cryer. 

McNeese (12-17, 8-10 SLC) will enter next week's Southland Conference Tournament in Katy, Texas as the no. 8 seed and will face no. 5 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 11 a.m. Thursday morning.

Senior Dede Sheppard, one of five seniors playing their final home game scored a game high 23 points. Fellow senior Mercedes Rogers led the Cowgirls with 13 rebounds with 11 coming on defense. Sophomore Caitlin Davis scored 18 points and senior Keara Hudnall chipped in with 17 points with 15 coming from behind the arc where she tied her career high with five three-pointers. 

The Cowgirls kept the game close for the first quarter then Lamar's offense exploded in the second quarter to outscore McNeese 25-11 in the second quarter to take a 45-26 halftime lead.  The Cowgirls didn't help their cause by committing 14 first half turnovers that resulted in 13 Lamar points.

Lamar opened the second quarter on an 11-0 run to lead 29-15 before Sheppard ended the Cowgirls' scoring drought with a jumper. 

"That second quarter is where it really got us. Lamar is a good team, they are the champions of the league. I thought we did a good job in the first quarter sustaining. In the second quarter, we had open looks and just didn't make the shots and we weren't getting back on D and communicating." 

With Lamar leading 52-31 in the third quarter, McNeese went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 12 points (52-40) that started with five straight points by Hudnall. The Cowgirls also got two free throws from Caitlin Davis and a layup by Mercedes Rogers during the scoring run.

McNeese trailed 64-49 heading into the final period but the Cowgirls opened the fourth quarter with on a 6-0 run to cut the Lamar lead to single digits (64-55) three minutes into the quarter. Hudnall's final three of the game would pull McNeese to within five points but the Cowgirls fouled in an attempt to catch up and Lamar would score their final five points of the game from the free throw line to seal the win.

"We went into the locker room at half and made a few adjustments and I told them don't give up, you can get yourselves back in the game, lets just take it one possession at a time, keep getting stops and score on our end and we did that," Cryer said.

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