UNO rides turnovers to win at McNeese, 64-53

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LAKE CHARLES – McNeese played with a full squad for the first time in weeks against New Orleans on Saturday afternoon, but despite the numbers, turnovers proved to be costly in a 64-53 Southland Conference women’s basketball loss in Burton Coliseum.

The loss dropped the Cowgirls to 5-10 overall and 5-3 in league play while UNO improved to 5-12 and 2-9.

Divine Tanks was the only McNeese player to score in double-figures as she led the way with 14 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. UNO had four players reach double digits, led by Mia Deck’s 17 points.

The Cowgirls turned the ball over 24 times with a majority of those self inflicted.

“It really wasn’t something they were doing on defense, it was just with miscues on our passes and entry passes,” said head coach Kacie Cryer. “We didn’t work hard to get open.”

The Cowgirls had their last two games postponed due to the weather while Saturday was their first game since winning at Northwestern State last Saturday.

“We weren’t rusty,” said Cryer. “For the first time we had 12 players and our chemistry wasn’t on. It’s a great thing to have that many players and you could see it at times with the communication and chemistry, that it’s there, we just have to get back to playing with everybody out there.

“Credit UNO. I thought they played tremendously well. They’ve been playing well and they’ve been close to beating people. Today they hit some really tough shots.”

McNeese trailed 23-20 at the half and fell behind 36-25 midway through the third quarter. A 5-0 start to the fourth quarter following a Le’Shenae Stubblefield basket and three-pointer from Claralee Richard close the UNO gap to 39-38 with 8:57 to play in the fourth.

UNO responded with a 13-1 run over the next 4 ½ minutes and building a 52-39 lead with 4:48 to play.

A Kyla Hamilton jumper with 3:19 remaining pull McNeese to within 52-43 and started a mini run but UNO’s Deck came back with a huge three-pointer with 3:00 on the clock to put a half to the Cowgirls’ 4-0 run and give the Privateers back a double-digit lead. Deck then connected on all eight of her free throws with under a minute to play to secure the win.

For the game, McNeese made just 19 of 55 shots from the floor for 35 percent and went 4 of 19 from long range for 21 percent. UNO wasn’t much better overall, connecting on 35 percent (22 of 63), and went 4 of 14 from behind the arc (29 percent). The Privateers made five more free throws than the Cowgirls.

McNeese will return to action on Monday night when it hosts HBU at 6:30 in Burton Coliseum. The Cowgirls will turn around and host Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday, also at 6:30.

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