Slow start dooms McNeese vs Central Arkansas
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - For the second straight game, the McNeese women's basketball team got off to a slow start resulting in a 70-56 loss to second place Central Arkansas here Wednesday night at Burton Coliseum. The loss is only the Cowgirls' second home loss of the season as they fall to 16-10 overall and 8-5 in the Southland Conference. UCA improves to 21-3 overall and 10-2 in the SLC.
"We didn't get off to a good start and that started on the defensive end," said head coach Brooks Donald Williams. "We just didn't guard very well. We have to get tougher. The last several years, this time of year, we aren't stepping up to the plate. It's unfortunate because our program is known for its toughness and defense. " Williams said.
McNeese was led in scoring by Amber Donnes' 16 points. Donnes was 6 of 15 from the field including two 3-pointers. Jayln Johnson chipped in 11 points on 4 of 10 from the field. Frederica Haywood led all players with a game high 10 rebounds. Allison Baggett was held to eight points, which moves her into third place in McNeese career scoring ahead of her sister Caitlyn. Allison now has 1,675 career points.
The Cowgirls' struggles began early again as UCA scored the games first eight points of the game before Baggett scored McNeese's first points of the game with 6:15 left in the first quarter. The Cowgirls couldn't stop the Sugar Bears' inside game behind Taylor Baudoin who scored UCA's first six points. Baudoin and Brianna Mullins combined for 44 of UCA's 70 points. Mullins scored a game high 24 and Boudoin scored 20. Both players had 13 apiece at the half. Jameka Watkins chipped in 12 points on the night.
Maggie Proffitt, UCA's leading scorer who entered the game averaging 16.5 ppg. was held to four points on 2 of 13 from the field and 0 of 4 from three-point range by and outstanding defensive effort by Hannah Cupit who was given that defensive assignment.
"Somebody who did guard was Hannah Cupit. She shut down one of the players in our league. The four points that Profit scored were four she really had to work to get and I'm not sure if two of her points were score when Hannah was guarding her," Williams said.
UCA took its first double figure lead in the game on their first basket of the second quarter on a Baudoin jumper. McNeese cut the lead to four after a 7-0 run behind a three-pointer by Johnson and four straight points by Keara Hudnall. UCA came back with a 10-0 run of its own to take a 14 point lead (31-17) and as much as a 17 point lead before heading into the half with a 15-point lead (40-25).
The Sugar Bears came out the half by outscoring McNeese 7-4 to take its largest lead of the game of 18 points three minutes into the third quarter and held another 17 point lead after the third quarter.
McNeese was able to outscore UCA 17-14 in the final quarter but fell short to a team the Cowgirls have defeated in the previous three meetings by a combined 10 points.
"Its not about who we play right now. It's about what we do, how we defend, and how we respond. We have to respond with a tougher attitude and resilience. We can't continue to give up 70 and 80 points every night," said Williams.
McNeese will have to put this game behind them and look forward to Saturday's 1 p.m. home game against Lamar.
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