Baggett's 26 lifts Cowgirls

By By Alex Hickey / American Press

McNeese State overcame an early case of the clanks Tuesday night to roll past visiting Louisiana Tech 63-51 at Burton Coliseum.

After shooting just 21 percent from the field in the first 13 minutes, the Cowgirls (6-3) started clicking on both ends of

the floor. McNeese closed the first half with a 12-0 run to take a lead it would never relinquish.

“Our girls did a tremendous job of hanging tough,” said coach Brooks Donald Williams. “I think we got a little frustrated

early with the officiating when we were trying to get to the rim (and didn’t go to the line). But we’ve got to toughen up.

You can’t change the officiating. I thought (the officials) did a good job. But you can change the way you respond to it.”

Sophomore Allison Baggett led the Cowgirls with a game-high 26 points.

Like her teammates, Baggett got off to a slow start, hitting just 2 of her first 6 shots. She made 7 of her last 12 from the

field, with 3 of 5 coming from beyond the 3-point line.

“She’s a happy-go-lucky kid and doesn’t get too emotional about anything. That definitely plays to her advantage on the court,”

Donald Williams said. “She trucks right along. When things don’t go her way it doesn’t faze her.”

Baggett was responsible for McNeese’s flurry to close the first half, giving the Cowgirls their first lead at 21-19 with a

3. She then closed the half with a pair of H-O-R-S-E shots — a banked 3-pointer and a left-handed floater.

“I got some good looks and just pulled the trigger,” Baggett said. “The one 3 was a little wild, but a 3’s a 3.”

Baggett’s run was set up by a hustle play from freshman guard Haily Jenkins that seemed to change the game’s momentum.

Jenkins, who had just scored a bucket, intercepted a Louisiana Tech pass near the arc and went coast-to-coast for a layup

that cut the deficit to 1.

“In my peripheral, I saw everybody in the stands go crazy,” Baggett said. “I feel that definitely set us off.”

The Lady Techsters (3-7) cut McNeese’s

7-point halftime lead down to 3 late, but Baggett answered with another 3

to extend

the Cowgirl lead to 53-47 with 3:15 to go. Tech was never able to

make it less than a two-possession game after that point.

The Lady Techsters shot 27.3 percent (18 of 66) from the field and missed their first 12 3-point attempts.

McNeese limited Tech leading scorers Whitney Frazier and JaQuan Jackson to a combined 10 points.