McNeese State's Caitlyn Baggett gets fouled by SLU's Elizabeth Styles while driving in for a layup during the first half. (Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 11:53 AM
What’s the reward for becoming McNeese State’s all-time leader in assists?
In Caitlyn Baggett’s case, there’s artwork in addition to owning the spot atop the school record book.
After McNeese State’s 75-67 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday night, a little girl wandered over to Baggett, then handed her a colorful piece of paper presumably bearing her likeness and the scrawled message “To 11: You are very pretty.”
Indeed, it was Baggett’s night at Burton Coliseum.
She broke Tiffany Green’s career record with her 473rd career assist, then went on to score a game-high 24 points in leading the Cowgirls to their second consecutive win.
“It’s kind of like the conference championships. It’s nice to leave your legacy at McNeese,” Baggett said. “Out of all the stats, that’s my favorite one, because it involves my teammates. I definitely owe it to them because they have to make the shot to get those assists.”
Baggett’s points total moved her into third all-time at McNeese (1,475 points) behind only Pat Jean and twin Ashlyn. She was 13 of 14 from the free-throw line in the game.
“She’s probably one of the most special players I’ve coached as far as the point guard position, and probably any position,” said Cowgirls coach Brooks Donald Williams. “She can do so many things well — break people off the bounce, shoot a 3, shoot mid-range. And Caitlyn knows who to pass to and when.”
As so many of the previous 472 did, Baggett’s record-breaking assist came feeding Ashlyn on a 3-pointer.
“It’s a special thing for her to break that passing to someone she’s played with her whole life,” Donald Williams said.
The Cowgirls (14-11, 9-5 Southland) didn’t show any letdown as a whole going in off a win over first-place Lamar on Saturday.
“It certainly wasn’t pretty, but we’re proud we still got the win,” Donald Williams said. “Our defense wasn’t what it was Saturday, but we found a way to get the job done. In the past we haven’t done that — when things weren’t pretty it ended up in a loss.”
McNeese led from the midpoint of the first half onward, building a lead of as many as 17 points.
The Lions (10-15, 3-7) chipped into the deficit in the second half with a 2-1-2 zone that put the Cowgirls off-balance.
“They’ve run it for several years, we just didn’t do a good job,” Donald Williams said. “We kind of held it and threw the ball around a little wildly, certainly what we talked about not doing.”
SLU also used a steady diet of free throws to prevent McNeese from completely putting the game out of reach. The Lions went 17 of 22 from the line, including 10 of 12 in the second half.
McNeese won the rebounding battle by a 44-35 margin, led by Cecilia Okoye’s double-double of 10 points and 12 boards.
Symone Miller had a team-high 19 for the Lions, while Ashlyn (14 points) and Allison Baggett (13) finished in double figures for McNeese.