Miscues costly for Cowgirls in loss at Sam Houston State

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas — McNeese women’s basketball held the lead for the first a little over five minutes of the game and the first quarter ended in a 15-15 tie Thursday night against Sam Houston State but the Bearkats outscored the Cowgirls 37-18 in the second quarter on its way to a 92-59 Southland Conference win to remain undefeated at home this season.

“We came out and did a very good job on both sides of the court in the first half,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “I really liked our mindset on both the offensive end and defensive end but the big difference in the game was the turnovers and points scored off those turnovers. We cannot have 33 turnovers in a conference road game.”

McNeese (3-8, 0-2 SLC) committed a season high 33 turnovers that turned into 35 Bearkat points. McNeese also allowed SHSU (8-4, 3-0 SLC) to score 48 points in the paint.

“Credit SHSU, the constant pressure they applied was tough, and you have to be tough to match it. We were tough at times but the times we weren’t, Sam Houston State converted.

With 3:19 left in the second quarter, SHSU took a double-digit lead (38-27) on a jumper by Faith Cook and the Bearkats never relinquished the double figure lead the rest of the game.

McNeese placed two players in double figures and was led by Bre’Ashlee Jones’ 13 points along with 10 points from Divine Tanks who came off the bench for her points. Jones ended the game 5 of 7 from the field and 3 of 7 from the free throw line. Tanks was 2 of 7 from the field and 6 of 8 from the free throw line.

Damilola Balogun led McNeese with 10 rebounds as the Cowgirls were only outrebounded by three (34-31).

As a team, the Cowgirls ended the game shooting 41.2 percent from the field (21 for 51) but were held to 2 of 3 three-pointers. The Cowgirls were 15 of 22 from the free throw line for 68.2 percent.

Sam Houston State placed four players in double figure scoring and was led by Amber Leggett’s game high 23 points. Jaylonn Walker scored 19, Jennifer Oramas had 12, and Courtney Cleveland pitched in with 10.

“We don’t have long to sit on this one. We have to take it, learn from it and get prepared for a tough UCA team coming into our place Saturday. This is a great group of girls, they will bounce back and be ready to go.”

McNeese will return home for three straight SLC games beginning with a 1 p.m. game against Central Arkansas this Saturday.

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