Cowgirls travel to face Rice; Ashlyn Baggett nearing career scoring mark

By By Alex Hickey / American Press

When you’re a twin, it can be hard to get noticed for what you do as an individual.

Fortunately for Ashlyn Baggett, there’s a school record book for that.

With six points against Rice Saturday, Baggett will become the No. 2 all-time scorer in McNeese State history, surpassing Robin

Daniels’ career total of 1,468 points.

That would put Baggett behind only Pat Jean, whose school record of 2,461 career points has stood for almost 30 years and

seems poised to be there for at least 30 more.

“I’ve been playing basketball my entire

life and have worked extremely hard on both the offensive and defensive

sides. It

means a lot to have your name imprinted in history like that,”

Baggett said. “But obviously the team rewards are more important.

The only thing I care about is winning in March, even if it means

scoring six points a game.”

Since the standard set by Jean from 1980-83 might never be attained again — much like Pete Maravich’s career totals at LSU

— Baggett’s scoring total may go down as the mark by which future Cowgirl greatness is measured.

“She’s done incredible things for

Cowgirl basketball,” said head coach Brooks Donald Williams. “And I

think the thing is,

she’s just as good, and maybe even better, defensively. It asks a

lot when you depend on your best offensive player so heavily

on the defensive end, too. She’s a special kid.”

As impressive as Baggett’s achievement is, it is possible that she is still underappreciated.

Part of that comes from having a twin sister, Caitlyn, who is comparable in appearance and talent. In the public eye the duo

are connected at the hip, if only figuratively. One just happens to be the distributor and the other is the scorer.

And then there’s Ashlyn’s very nature, which is the opposite of self-serving or self-promoting. In fact, sometimes it isn’t

even self-aware.

Her verbatim reaction to learning her position on the all-time scoring list: “Oh, OK!”

Donald Williams said it is that me-last attitude that has made Ashlyn such a great player.

“That’s what makes her teammates respect her. It’s what’s made our program grow leaps and bounds from where we started,” Donald

Williams said. “It’s because of her humbleness and team mentality. Anything she says it’s ‘My team helped me do this,’ and

it’s very sincere.”

But most of all there is the work ethic, which has been evident from well before the time Ashlyn set foot on campus.

“She’s a gym rat. She’s made herself

into a great scorer and a great shooter because she works on her game,”

Donald Williams

said. “It’s very rare to find a kid like that. Her and Caitlyn are

both like that. One of the first questions they asked me

in recruiting them was, ‘Do we have midnight shooting?’

“I didn’t know what that was. I told them, ‘No. The campus is very safe.’ It turned out they just wanted to see if they could

shoot around late at night. They had to share gym time with Diego Kapelan and Pat Richard, which goes to show you — those

are all the great players.”

Sometimes Donald Williams is the one who has to take it down a notch.

“Sometimes we get on her about being too intense at times,” Donald Williams said. “But it’s special. I’d take that any day.”