Cowgirls can’t capitalize on early lead, fall 81-50 to Rice

Cowgirls can’t capitalize on early lead, fall 81-50 to Rice

LAKE CHARLES—McNeese women’s basketball scored the first seven points of the game and held a 19-12 first-quarter lead over Rice here Wednesday but couldn’t overcome a scoring drought in the second and third quarters, eventually falling 81-50 to the Owls.

“I love the way we came out in the first quarter,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “That is the team that we can be and should be for four quarters. We controlled the tempo of the game and were making them play at our tempo and were following the game plan on the defensive end.

McNeese (1-5) was led in scoring by senior Regan Bolton’s 11 points on 4 of 10 from the field including 3 of 8 from three-point range. Bolton moved into fourth place in McNeese career three-pointers on her second trey of the game that came early in the fourth quarter. Senior Damilola Balogun led the Cowgirls with nine rebounds including seven on the defensive end.

Rice (3-3) had five players score in double figures with Erica Ogwumike and Haylee Swayze leading the way with 12 points each.

Sophomore Callie Maddox began the Cowgirls scoring with the first four points of the game on back-to-back layups before Rayah Haynes drained a three-pointer for a 7-0 McNeese lead. After two Rice free throws by Lauren Schwartz to put Rice on the board, McNeese went on a 10-2 run to take its largest lead of the game of 13 points to increase its lead to 17-4.

For the next two-quarters McNeese couldn’t buy a bucket and was outscored 21-8 in the second quarter and 25-7 in the third quarter to trail 58-34 heading into the fourth quarter.

“In the second quarter we weren’t moving very well without the ball but we still had open looks and were able to keep it tight and on were only down by six at the half which I was pleased about because we were still staying strong on defense,” Cryer said.

The Cowgirls were a combined 3 for 24 from the field during the scoring drought while Rice was 19 for 34. McNeese did end the game shooting 90 percent from the free-throw line on 9 of 10 attempts.

In the last three quarters, Rice hurt the Cowgirls in the paint where they scored 36 points as well as from behind the arc where they were 9 for 18 after making two of six threes in the first quarter.

The Cowgirl ended the game shooting 34.7 percent from the field on 17 of 49 attempts, 40 percent from three-point range (7 of 18) and 90 percent from the free-throw line (9 of 10).

McNeese will break for Thanksgiving and will return to action on Sunday, Dec. 1 to host UL-Monroe in a 2 p.m. game.

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