NATCHITOCHES, LA (KPLC) - Northwestern State’s Grant Nautica has a habit of having career games against McNeese and Saturday’s game wasn’t any different in an 82-63 Southland Conference win.
The senior from Dallas, TX. led all players with a career high 34 points including a career high three pointers (6 of 9) and free throws (12 of 13).
McNeese (2-11, 0-1 SLC) got off to a slow start and got into early foul trouble with four starters picking up at least two fouls in the first quarter. Bre’Ashlee Jones went to the bench late in the first quarter with three fouls. The Cowgirls struggled from the field from the opening tip and ended the first half shooting 30 percent on 9 of 30 from the field.
“We missed a lot of easy shots in the first half and a lot of them were around the rim and you can’t do that on the road,” said head coach Kacie Cryer.
Northwestern State (6-7, 1-1 SLC) held a 44-25 halftime lead and held as much as a 23 point lead late in the second quarter.
The Cowgirls came out in the second half and outscored NW State by a slim 22-21 margin and went on a 10-3 run to cut the lead to nine points midway through the fourth quarter.
Libba Gilliam’s free throw put NW State back up by 10 points and the Lady Demons ended the game on a 14-4 run despite making only one field goal in the quarter.
McNeese ended the game shooting 32.8 percent from the field on 20 of 61 attempts and made 20 of 30 free throws for 66.7 percent.
“We actually did a good job on their press today but we still committed way too many turnovers. A lot of them were just bad passed that we can control.”
The Cowgirls placed three players in double figures and were led by 16 from Damilola Balogun. Callie Maddox added 15 and Regan Bolton pitched in with 11.
McNeese outrebounded NW State 46-39 and was led by Jones’ game high 10 rebounds. Divine Tanks also grabbed eight rebounds.
“We have to have players step up when things are going good and if we play the first half like we did the second half, this would have been a different ballgame.”
The Cowgirls will continue playing on the road for the next three games and will make the trek to Abilene, Texas next Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game.