Baggett helps lead McNeese past UL-Lafayette

LAFAYETTE-Ashlyn Baggett led all players with a game high 20 points to lead McNeese State in a 65-52 women's basketball game here Thursday night in Earl K. Long Gym. Baggett was one of two players to score in double figures with Candace LaCombe tying her season high with 12. The win improves the Cowgirls to 4-3 overall and second straight.

Baggett was 8 of 12 from the field including four of six from the free throw line. LaCombe was 4 of 10 from the field with all her points coming from three-point range. As a team, the Cowgirls shot 43.6 percent from the field (24-55) and 65.0 percent from the free throw line (13-20), holding the Cajuns to 33.9 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from the charity stripe. McNeese also picked up eight steals and five blocks.

McNeese never looked back after taking the lead midway through the first half and held as much as a 19 point lead with 9:06 left in the game. The Cowgirls did a good job on the boards and holding UL-Lafayette to one shot for most of the game, allowing only 12 second chance points. The Cowgirls outrebounded the Cajuns 42-38 and scored 34 points in the paint and 26 bench points.

The Cowgirls took their first double digit lead early in the second half on a Johnson jumper in the lane at 44-33 with 17:45.

After a back and forth game in the opening minutes of the game, McNeese took the lead for good on four straight points by Kiara Johnson. Johnson cut the Cajun lead to one point 17-16 off a jumper from the free throw line then gave the Cowgirls the lead for the remainder of the half on two free throws. The Cowgirls held on to the lead and held as much as a nine point lead four times during the half and were up 35-26 with 1:40 left in the half.

UL-Lafayette went on a 6-0 run to cut the Cowgirl lead to 35-32 with :30 left. McNeese ended the first half on a 5-2 run to take a 40-30 halftime lead. McNeese played most of the half without Johnson and starters Kendra Wells and Ja'Niqua Kendrix who all picked up three fouls apiece.

The Cowgirls return home Dec. 10 to host Southern and then UL-Monroe on Dec. 14.

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