Cowgirls cruise to easy win over Texas Southern

By By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

The McNeese State Cowgirls opened their home schedule in style, cruising to a 59-42 win over Texas Southern.

McNeese (1-1) never trailed after the

first 5 minutes and got a boost off the bench from Cecilia Okoye and

Allison Baggett.

Okoye produced a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds,

while Baggett scored all 10 of her points in the second half

as the Cowgirls pulled away.

Caitlyn Baggett led McNeese with 21 points, including 15 in the first half.

Texas Southern (0-2) shot 31 percent and committed 23 turnovers. The Tigers stayed within single digits of the Cowgirls for most

of the first half, but McNeese scored the final five points of the half to stretch their lead to 35-23 at the break.

“We are getting better every day, I feel good about where we are,” said McNeese head coach Brooks Donald Williams. “There

are many things we have to continue to work on, the girls know that, but I thought this was good for them today.

“Texas Southern played SMU close this

week. We were worried about them. They did some good things, they

attacked us and gave

us some things we struggled with. I thought we rebounded a little

bit better today. Offensively, we crashed the glass a lot

better. We saw some other kids do better today than in the

opener.”

Okoye was chief among those, bouncing back from 8 scoreless minutes in the season-opening loss to Vanderbilt with 21 strong

minutes against Texas Southern, helping McNeese to a 47-33 rebounding advantage.

“I was just happy to contribute for the team, defense is number one for us so I was glad to get some rebounds for the team,”

Okoye said. “We had more communication today. Everyone was blocking out and talking so I was getting a lot of help from my

teammates.”

Williams said she expects Okoye to continue attacking the glass.

“The kid can rebound. She is getting

better every day and we are excited about where she is going to be later

in the season,”

said Williams. “She just had to get here and adjust. She had a

really good junior college career. She has come here, watched

how we do things and gotten comfortable. She is going to become a

rebounding machine, we hope.”

Janelle McQueen led Texas Southern with 14 points.

McNeese will host Houston at 7 p.m. Tuesday.