McNeese Cowgirls’ season ends with OT loss to Lamar

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 11:53 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - McNeese beat New Orleans 87-82 in overtime in their first game of the 2023 Southland Conference Tournament on Monday, and with it they advanced to the second round, where Tuesday they would have a date with a team they struggled with in a big way this season; Lamar.

Lamar beat McNeese twice in the regular season by a combined 52 points, meaning the Cowgirls would have the odds stacked against them on Tuesday against the Cardinals, and the first three quarters weren’t easy for the Cowgirls.

Going into the fourth quarter, McNeese trailed 57-47 and seemed to just lack rhythm, but over the final 10 minutes, that all changed. Thanks to a Desirae Hansen three with 34 seconds remaining which tied the game up at 67, the Cowgirls forced overtime for the second consecutive day, following a fourth quarter where they outscored Lamar 20-10.

Unfortunately for McNeese, unlike Monday’s win over New Orleans, overtime on Tuesday against the Cardinals wasn’t kind to them. Lamar led for a majority of the five-minute overtime period, as they outscored McNeese 13-8 in OT to win it 80-75, as they advance to the Southland Conference Tournament Semi-Finals, and end McNeese’s season in the process.

“It’s like I told the team after the game, just proud of the way they continued to fight throughout that game, to get down early, that wasn’t the start we wanted, especially with the previous two games against Lamar,” said Cowgirls’ head coach Lynn Kennedy following the loss. “But just to show our fight throughout the second, third, and fourth quarters, and even in overtime, honestly, we should be still playing, I mean, there were some factors that went into this game at the end and I honestly feel like we should still be playing, but it wasn’t to be.”

The factors coach Kennedy referenced there was likely the questionable officiating that McNeese faced in both of their tournament games. In Monday’s win over New Orleans, the Cowgirls, and Privateers combined for an astonishing 73 free throws, and on Tuesday against Lamar it wasn’t much better.

Throughout the game coach Kennedy could be seen complaining to the officials about calls the local crowd in Lake Charles wasn’t too fond of, notably, including a call at the end of regulation. With 5.6 seconds remaining in the game, and the score tied at 57, the ball was ruled out on Lamar, which would then give McNeese a chance to win the game. The call was then overturned, forcing McNeese to defend the Cardinals’ chance to win the game without overtime.

It turned out to be meaningless as the Cardinals didn’t connect on their attempt to win the game without overtime, but it was the cherry on top of a questionably officiated game nonetheless.

McNeese Top-Performers:

  • Kaili Chamberlin: 23 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist
  • Le’Shenae Stubblefield: 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 assists, 1 block

Lamar Top-Performers:

  • Akasha Davis: 25 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
  • Portia Adams: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal

With the win third-seeded Lamar advances to the semi-finals where they will play second-seeded Texas A&M - Corpus Christi with the winner advancing to the championship game where they will take on the winner of Southeastern and Texas A&M - Commerce.