Dominant third quarter gives UNO women first conference win of season
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans (5-8, 1-3 SLC) turned a three-point halftime deficit into a 15-point lead at the end of three periods and picked up their first Southland Conference win of the season, 88-76 over the McNeese State Cowgirls (2-13, 0-4 SLC) Saturday at Lakefront Arena.
Senior center Shania Woods picked up her fifth double-double in the last six games with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Alyssa Quixley produced 21 points off the bench and 6-5 junior Kayla Thomas had 15 points in only 16 minutes of action as UNO finally cracked the win-column in Southland play.
“It was a great team effort and we’re very happy to get this first conference win,” said head coach Keeshawn Davenport. “The game plan was a box out, rebound against this good rebounding team, and run. That’s what we did.”
McNeese, one of the better rebounding teams in the conference, led at the break 42-39, thanks to a 26-18 advantage in rebounds. But that changed in the third quarter as New Orleans outscored the Cowgirls 29-11 and outrebounded McNeese in the third, 17-6.
New Orleans scored the first eight points of the second half on consecutive layups by Shania Woods, Dionjhae Thomas, another by Woods and a basket by Whitley Larry to make it 47-42, Privateers after only 1:25 expired in the quarter.
Quixley had nine points in the third period, Woods had six points and five rebounds and Thomas had six points and four boards. UNO had an 18-6 points-in-the-paint advantage and 8-0 in second-chance-points as New Orleans took a 68-53 lead into the final period.
The Privateers held a double-digit lead through most of the final quarter. The Cowgirls cut it to single digits late in the game pulling to within 8 in the final minute of the contest. But a quartet of free throws by Quixley (10-of-10 from the line) and Shania Woods, closed the door and New Orleans had a victory.
Larry had six points, eight rebounds and the conference’s leading shot blocker had two against McNeese. Point guard Jada Duncantell had seven points and led the club in assists (four) and steals (five). Freshman Traya Bruce had nine points all coming from beyond the three-point arc.
ON ALYSSA QUIXLEY:
“I really like the way Alyssa is playing with confidence. She’s talking and getting everyone involved. She wanted the ball at the end because she knew she would hit those free throws. What you all don’t see is her leadership at practice and in the locker room. And remember she’s not a starter but she pushes the starters.”
ON KAYLA THOMAS:
“A game like this has to be a great confidence booster for her. When you have that size advantage you have to use that. Kayla playing in those high-low situations is what did it for us in the third quarter.”
New Orleans will hit the road, Wednesday, Jan. 16 for a Southland Conference match with Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…