CONWAY, Ark.—McNeese’s offense never got on track here Monday night and Central Arkansas outrebounded the Cowgirls 54-37 in a 62-47 Southland Conference loss.
UCA pulled down 24 offensive rebounds and scored 24 second-chance points in the win. UCA held a 31-11 rebound advantage.
“This was a tough loss for us but UCA did a really good job on the boards,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “It’s tough to win when you are giving up 24 offensive rebounds that lead to 24 second-chance points.”
McNeese (6-13, 6-6 SLC) rallied from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to cut the UCA (10-12, 8-6 SLC) lead to three points early in the fourth quarter but UCA ended the game on a 23-8 run the rest or the game.
“I thought we did a good job late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter to cut the lead down to give us a chance to win but we didn’t get the stops and rebounds needed to finish the game.”
Kyla Hamilton led all players with 19 points on 6 of 15 from the field and 6 of 7 from the free-throw line. Maia Robinson was the only other Cowgirl to score in double figures, ending the game with 10 points and led McNeese with seven rebounds.
Divine Tanks, the Cowgirls’ leading scorer, who got into early foul trouble, scored three points and played only 13 minutes.
UCA had three players record double-doubles with Carley Hudspeth leading the Sugar Bears with 14 points. Brianna Trigg (12 pts., 10 reb.), Lucy Ibeh (12 pts., 10 reb.), and Ayanna Trigg (11 pts., 11 reb.) all recorded double-doubles.
“We have to get back to playing tough on both sides and being the ultimate competitors as we head to Nicholls. We have a tough and resilient group and we will regroup and prepare for a quick turnaround for Wednesday’s game.
McNeese will travel to Nicholls Wednesday for its final regular-season road game. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. McNeese will conclude the regular season Saturday in its home finale against Lamar at 1 p.m. Lone senior Shaela Gardner will be honored prior to the game.
The Cowgirls got off to a cold start and held an early lead but leading scorer Divine Tanks went to the bench with two fouls with 3:43 left in the quarter. UCA took the lead midway through the quarter and held an 11-8 first-quarter lead.
McNeese cut the UCA lead 21-18 on a Kyla Hamilton step-back three-pointer with 3:55 left in the half but UCA scored the next six points to extend the lead 27-18. McNeese got another basket from a Le’Shenae Stubblefield layup to go into the locker room trailing 27-20 at the half.
UCA opened the second half by scoring the first seven points to extend their lead to 34-20. McNeese cut the lead to 10 points on a Whitney Johnson layup. McNeese cut the lead to eight points a few times during the quarter but couldn’t get closer, trailing 40-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
McNeese trailed by as many as 14 points before cutting the lead to three points (42-39) with 6:35 left. UCA went on a 23-8 run the rest of the game.