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Cowgirls Drop SLC Opener To HBU

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Published: Jan. 15, 2022 at 10:09 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES—Houston Baptist outscored McNeese 47-37 in the second half to come away with an 82-74 Southland Conference Women’s Basketball victory here Saturday in the reopening of the Legacy Center.

”First of all, I want to thank the fans, community, McNeese, and everyone for putting in the time and effort to getting the Legacy back and up and running,” said Kennedy. “It was an unbelievable feeling. I know I didn’t go through it with ya’ll but it was emotional coming on the court before the game. You could feel the energy and excitement from the fans. We really wanted to get the win for the fans.”

Both teams shot the ball well from the field, ending the game shooting better than 45 percent from the field.

McNeese (5-9 (0-1 SLC) placed four players in double figures. Cristina Gil led the Cowgirls with a career-high 22 points on 9 of 13 from the field and 4 of 5 from behind the arc. Zuzanna Kulinska added 16 points while Kaili Chamberlin pitched in with 11 and Divine Tanks ended the game with 10 pts. Tanks missed a double-double by one rebound, ending the game with nine rebounds.

Houston Baptist (5-7, 1-0 SLC) also placed four players in double figures with Timia Jefferson leading all players with 28 points. N’Denasija Collins had 17, Kennedy Wilson had 12, and Julija Vujakovic ended with 11. Collins led all players with 14 rebounds to record her double-double.

The game was nearly back and forth the entire game with both teams going on scoring runs.

Once the Cowgirls’ emotions calmed down, McNeese led by as many as six points with four minutes left in the first quarter before leading 22-19 at the end of the first period.

”The emotions kind of caught us at the beginning of the game but I like how we settled down and got into a good flow to be able to come out of the first quarter and the first half with leads. I think that says a lot about our fight and getting back into the game.”

Late in the second quarter, HBU went on an 11-1 run to take a 32-22 lead but Le’Shenae Stubblefield ended the Cowgirl scoring drought with a three-point play to cut the lead to one possession, 32-30.

The Cowgirls scored the next five points on a layup by Tanks then a three-pointer by Kaili to extend the Cowgirl lead to 35-32.

The Huskies then scored the next three points to tie the score at 35 but Gil gave the Cowgirls a 37-35 halftime lead when she scored on a layup as time expired to end the first half.

A few rotation breakdowns in the third quarter allowed HBU to hit back-to-back three’s that put the Huskies up by three points but the Cowgirls responded with a run of its own to retake the led 47-41 behind a Chamberlin layup.

HBU then outscored McNeese 12-6 to tie the game at 53 at the end of the third quarter.

The game continued to go back-and-forth for the first few minutes of the final period and with HBU leading 68-64 with 4:56 left to play, Desirae Hansen was called for a foul and then was assessed with a technical foul with 3:56 to play. Jefferson made all four free throws to extend the Husky lead to 72-64.

The Cowgirls cut the HBU eight-point lead to three points (74-71) with 1:26 to play on a Kulinska three-point play after getting fouled on a layup.

That would be as close as the Cowgirls would get as HBU would go on to outscore McNeese 8-3 the rest of the way.

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