LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese women’s basketball came close to pulling off the biggest upset in the Southland Conference here Saturday but came up short in a 64-62 loss at the hands of league leaders Lamar (16-4, 9-0 SLC).
“We aren’t all about moral victories, we all love to win but the way we played today against a very good veteran Lamar team was extremely impressive and I’m am extremely proud of this group of girls,” said head coach Kacie Cryer.
With McNeese (5-14, 3-5 SLC) trailing 63-60 with 21 seconds left in the game, the designed play that head coach Kacie Cryer called for Regan Bolton to attempt three-pointer wasn’t successful but the Cowgirls did get a basket from Divine Tanks with seven seconds to cut the Lamar lead to one (63-62). McNeese attempted to foul as soon as Lamar inbounded the ball but were unable to catch up with guard Chastadie Barr’s immediately but did foul her with five seconds left. Barr’s made the first of two free throws and Lamar sealed the win with an offensive rebound on the second miss.
Despite the loss and an outstanding effort by the Cowgirls, McNeese outshot the Lady Cardinals from all areas of the court and outrebounded Lamar 31-28. The Cowgirls did give up 32 points off 29 turnovers but outscored Lamar in the final two quarters of the game.
“A couple of our turnovers came when we broke their press and got excited and we didn’t stop and execute.”
Bolton continued her hot outside shooting, connecting on six three-pointers to lead all players with 23 points. Callie Maddox, despite fouling out late in the game chipped in with 15 points. Damilola Balogun led the Cowgirls with seven rebounds.
“A lot of our emphasis was on rebounding and not allowing them second chance points and we did a good job in those areas today.”
Lamar also placed two players in double figure scoring with Moe Kinard leading the Lady Cardinals with 22 points and Miya Crump ended the game with 13. Crump also led Lamar with seven rebounds.
Bolton opened the game by scoring the Cowgirls first nine points, all coming from either a regular three-pointer or an old fashion three-pointer.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well in the opening minutes of the game and each team turned the ball over but neither team could capitalize in each other’s miscues.
McNeese got within two points (19-17) early in the second quarter following Bolton’s third trey of the game. Lamar’s potent offense then went on a 13-4 run in the next four minutes to take a 32-21 lead. The Cowgirls would get within six points (36-30) following a Divine Tanks layup and a Bre’Ashlee Jones free throw. Lamar ended the first half with a desperation half court heave by Jadyn Pimentel to put Lamar up 39-30 heading into the locker room.
The Cowgirls opened the second half on a three-pointer by Maddox but Lamar went on another run to extend its lead to 47-36 midway through the third period.
McNeese came back to cut the Lamar lead to eight points on a layup by Maia Robinson’s with 1:42 left in the quarter.
The Cowgirls kept up its intensity on both sides of the ball and eventually tied the game at 53 all on two free throws by Jamara Levy with 6:35 to play. After Lamar retook a one-point lead, McNeese took its first lead of the game (55-54) on a layup by Balogun with 5:50 to play. Lamar retook the lead but the Cowgirls once again tied the game at 60 on two more free throws by Maddox.
Barr’s gave Lamar its last lead of the game with two free throws with 1:41 left before another free throw with five seconds left in the game.
Lamar scored their final six points of the game from the free throw line as the Cowgirls defense didn’t allow a field goal by the Lady Cardinals in the final 5:19 of the game.