Women’s Basketball — Northwestern State overpowered by McNeese in loss Saturday

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NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State couldn’t overcome lengthy scoring droughts after a quick offensive start Saturday in a 60-44 loss to McNeese.

Sophomore guard Jocelyn Scott scored eight of a career-high-tying 13 points in the first quarter as NSU (7-15, 2-9 SLC) scored 18 points and had a two-point lead.

But NSU struggled in the final three periods, scoring just 26 points after the opening quarter on 9-of-28 shooting with 17 turnovers.

The 44 points scored is the second-lowest in conference play this season.

“It’s the same story that happened in the first game against McNeese – we scored well early and then they cranked up the defense and disrupted what we wanted to do,” said NSU coach Jordan Dupuy, referencing McNeese’s earlier 72-67 win in Lake Charles. “They were the more physical team, and they wouldn’t let us operate our offense the way we wanted to.”

After a Scott 3-pointer handed the Lady Demons a 25-22 edge late in the second quarter, McNeese scored the next 11 points to snatch a 33-25 edge early in the third quarter.

McNeese’s Bre’Ashlee Jones scored four of her game-high 14 points in that run, but Jones may have been even more important on the glass.

Jones grabbed 14 rebounds, 10 of them offensive, as the Cowgirls held an 18-7 offensive rebound edge and a 45-32 overall rebounding advantage.

“The fact that one girl had 10 offensive rebounds really tells the whole story right there,” said Dupuy of Jones, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the first matchup. “They overpowered us today.

“We also missed opportunities off turnovers (McNeese had 18). We missed some transition opportunities in which to score.”

NSU went on a mini 5-0 run to get within 33-30 midway through the third quarter, but the Cowgirls answered with an 11-2 run to build a 12-point edge.

McNeese’s Caitlin Davis (11 points) and Mercedes Rogers (eight points, 13 rebounds) each scored four points during that spurt.

The Lady Demons closed to eight points in the fourth quarter but couldn’t seriously threaten down the stretch.

Scoring struggles in the second and third quarters ultimately proved too much to overcome. NSU scored three points in the final six minutes of the second quarter and four points in the final six minutes of the third quarter.

Sophomore Jasmyn Johnson scored seven of her 10 points after halftime, but she also committed five turnovers.

Both teams started with offensive prowess before cooling off.

Scott made two of her career-high three 3-pointers in the first quarter as NSU shot 3-of-4 from long range. The McKinney, Texas native made her first three 3-pointers in all and sunk five straight dating back to Wednesday’s win against New Orleans.

But McNeese’s Dede Sheppard scored nine of her 11 points in the first quarter, including 3-of-3 from distance.

The Cowgirls made four of its first seven 3-point attempts before making just two of its final 16 attempts.

NSU hits the road Wednesday with a trip to Lamar, the first of a three-game road trip.

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