Last Modified: Friday, November 29, 2013 5:46 PM
BROOKLYN, New York-- The McNeese women’s basketball team executed its game plan and got double figure scoring from sophomore Allison Baggett, senior Cecilia Okoye and freshman Victoria Rachal en route to its 71-57 win over LIU Brooklyn at the Long Island Turkey Classic Friday. The Cowgirls advance to the championship game and will play the winner of the Georgia Tech/Southern Utah game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Cowgirls took the lead from the opening basket and held as much as a double digit lead with 10:06 left in the first half. McNeese led by as many as 24 points five times in the game with the last 24 point lead being a 69-45 with 4:22 left to play.
“I thought Jayln and Haley did a tremendous job of attacking their pressure, especially Jayln- she attacked the trap. LIU is a very aggressive team and they are aggressive on the front line,” said head coach Brooks Donald Williams.
The Cowgirls took advantage of the way Johnson and Jenkins broke the press and was able to distribute the ball to Baggett, Okoye and Rachal who scored most of their points in the paint.
Baggett ended the game making 9 of her 15 attempts. Baggett was perfect from behind the arc, making both attempts. Okoye was nearly perfect from the floor, making 6 of 7 from the floor, 4 of 5 from the free throw line. Rachal was 5 of 9 from the field, 2 of 3 from three-point range and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Johnson dished out a game high six assists.
McNeese ended the game shooting 52.0 percent (26-50) from the field and 71.4 percent (15-21) from the free throw line. The Cowgirls didn’t come out on top in the rebound column as they were outrebounded by 10 (42-32).
“We were able to run what we wanted to run and got some good looks because of Jayln’s ability to break the press.”
The Cowgirls used a smothering defense to shut down LIU Brooklyn, holding the Blackbirds to a 23.3 field goal shooting percent in the first half while the Cowgirls used a 32-12 run in the final seven minutes of the first half to take a 39-17 lead into the locker room. The Cowgirls were nearly flawless from the field in the first half, shooting 73.9 percent from the floor, making 17 of 23 attempts. The Cowgirls scored 24 of their 39 first half points in the paint with 12 coming off 10 LIU turnovers. The Cowgirls’ bench made its contribution with 13 points in the half.
The Cowgirls held LIU’s scoring and rebound leader, Cleandra Roberts to nine points and seven rebounds. Roberts entered the game averaging a double-double (19.3 ppg., 11.0 rpg.).