LAKE CHARLES— McNeese women’s basketball committed 23 turnovers and gave up 32 points in the paint in a 73-59 Southland Conference loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Wednesday night.
“The difference in the game was turnovers,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “We have to protect the ball and I’ve got to find someone who will do that and do it with passion and pride.
McNeese (5-16, 2-10 SLC) trailed 20-15 after the first quarter following a Regan Bolton three-point heave that banked in as the buzzer sounded.
Texas A&M-CC (16-6, 10-2 SLC) took a double-digit lead with just over five minutes left in the second quarter (29-19) and led 39-29 at the half.
“We gave up 11 second-chance points in the first half. To me, that was the difference in us being down by 10 points in the first half.”
The Islanders opened up the second half on an 11-0 run to take a 21-point lead three minutes into the third quarter. McNeese failed to chip away at the lead in the quarter and trailed by 20 or more for most of the quarter.
McNeese scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter behind a three-pointer from Bolton, a and layups by Sky Jasper and Kyla Hamilton to cut the lead to 12 (65-63). Both teams traded baskets on the next two possessions, but the Cowgirls could get any closer than 12 points in the final period.
“I liked the effort we brought in the fourth to get it back down to 12, but at the end of the day we have to stay composed, we can’t turn the ball over, and we have to box out.”
A&MCC outrebounded McNeese 40-31 with both teams ending the game with 23 defensive rebounds apiece.
McNeese was led in scoring by Bolton who ended the game with 14 on 4 of 10 from the field including 3 of 6 from behind the arc. Jasper scored 13 and Damilola Balogun scored 10 points and led the Cowgirls with eight rebounds.
A&M-CC had four players score in double figures with Dalesia Booth leading all players with a game-high 15.
The Cowgirls will travel to Central Arkansas this Saturday for its second game against the Sugar Bears this season. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.