NATCHITOCHES (KPLC) – McNeese’s Callie Maddox made her return to the floor after missing the last two months due to a knee injury, but Northwestern State outscored the Cowgirls by a 23-13 margin in the fourth quarter to rally it to a 70-60 Southland Conference win.
The loss dropped the Cowgirls to 5-18 overall and 2-12 in conference play and have now lost five straight. NSU improved to 8-16 overall and 4-11 in the league and keeps its slim postseason hopes alive.
Shaela Gardner led the Cowgirls with 14 points and Sky Jasper added 12. Kyla Hamilton recorded career highs with 10 assists and eight rebounds.
NSU had four players score in double-digits, led by Jasmyn Johnson’s 14 points. Victoria Miller and Kira Bonner added 12 each and Tristen Washington scored 11.
McNeese led 19-13 at the end of the first quarter and led by as many as nine points twice in the frame.
Maddox made her return to the floor at the 4:08 mark of the quarter and scored five of the Cowgirls’ next seven points. Her three-pointer with 2:13 to play put McNeese up 19-10. She finished the game with five points in 8 ½ minutes played.
Regan Bolton made it a 22-13 lead after a trey early in the quarter but NSU came back with four straight points to cut the margin to five midway through the stanza.
A Delilah Van Campen basket with 2:10 remaining in the half made it a 29-24 advantage but the Lady Demons scored the final five points and tied the game on a Washington three-pointer at the buzzer to knot the game at 29-29 at the half.
McNeese rolled off a 9-1 run early in the third quarter to build a 40-32 lead following a Garnder 3. NSU responded with a run of its own behind a couple of Miller layups and a Bonner three-pointer that tied the game 43-43 with 2:50 to play.
Both teams traded points the rest of the way and headed into the fourth period tied at 47-47.
Johnson put NSU up for good with a 3 to start the final frame and the lead built to double-digits midway through after a Scott jumper to make it 61-51.
The Cowgirls were unable to put together another run to cut into the margin and NSU prevailed with the win and avenging a 61-51 loss to the Cowgirls back on Jan. 11.
McNeese was held to 37 percent shooting for the game (25-67) while the Lady Demons connected on 37 percent as well (23-62) but made 15 more free throws than McNeese – Cowgirls finished 5-7 at the line while NSU went 20-27.
The Cowgirls will return home on Wednesday night when they host Incarnate Word at 6:30.