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Ashlyn, left, and Caitlyn Baggett will have their numbers retired during a ceremony tonight at Burton Coliseum. (American Press Archives)<br>

Ashlyn, left, and Caitlyn Baggett will have their numbers retired during a ceremony tonight at Burton Coliseum. (American Press Archives)

McNeese State to retire twins’ numbers

Last Modified: Thursday, November 14, 2013 10:49 AM

By Alex Hickey / American Press

The door will officially close on one era of McNeese State women’s basketball tonight before the present version of the Cowgirls tries to grab the biggest win of the young season.

Ashlyn and Caitlyn Baggett will have their numbers 10 and 11 raised to the Burton Coliseum rafters prior to today’s 7 p.m. tip against Rice, making them the first Cowgirls basketball players to have their numbers retired. The 2013 Women’s Basketball Invitational runner-up banner will also be unfurled.

“I can’t say enough about it. They’re two of the best players I’ve ever coached or gotten to watch,” said McNeese head coach Brooks Donald Williams. “They’re special to this program, community and McNeese State University. I’m certainly glad McNeese has chosen to carry that (legacy) on forever. And I think it honors everyone they played with too. All of them have a part in those jerseys going up.”

The youngest Baggett sister, Allison, is the lone Cowgirl averaging double-figures with 22.5 points per game in McNeese’s first two games. McNeese (1-1) is looking to bounce back from a 74-49 loss at Tulane against another opponent from Conference USA.

“We did not play very well at Tulane. They executed well and we didn’t,” Donald Williams said. “We got lackadaisical on defense and didn’t do fundamental things. That’s a big step we have to make (tonight) — sprint all the way down and get in position to guard.”

The Cowgirls’ toughest challenge will be defending 6-foot-2 Rice forward Jessica Kuster, who has averaged 24.5 points and 13.5 rebounds a game in wins over Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern.

“She’s a really tough matchup for us,” Donald Williams said. “She was tough last year and will be tougher for us now. She’s Conference USA’s best. She’s a mid-range kid who can post up some. She causes a true matchup nightmare.”

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