Turnovers, fouls plague Cowgirls in loss to Rice

HOUSTON — Turnovers and early foul trouble were just a couple of factors that went into McNeese 93-65 loss to host Rice on Sunday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston, Texas.

Rice (4-2) won their fourth in a row with the win over McNeese (0-6) who have had good moments during the season, but not enough to get a win yet.

Cowgirls head coach Kacie Cryer believes that the inconsistent play is one of the big things that is currently hurting the team.

“It’s the youth and the up-and-down,” Cryer said, “What we’re trying to just get is consistency. I did feel like it got better.”

McNeese had one of their better starts to a game all season, using an early 9-0 run to take a 12-7 lead. But from there, Rice dominated pretty much the rest of the first half, ending the first quarter on a 19-7 run to take a 26-19 lead.

The second quarter was all Owls, who shot 61.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.

Meanwhile, McNeese was plagued with foul trouble early on and turned the ball over 12 times in the first half, with Rice scoring 22 points off of those turnovers.

“Look what we end up losing by,” Cryer said. “It could have been a different game if we were just a little bit better with the basketball.”

Rice took a 52-34 lead into halftime, but McNeese came out and played their best quarter of the game in the third quarter. But while they held the Owls to their lowest quarterly output, they could not chip away at the led. Turnovers continued to plague McNeese, who played without Divine Tanks because of a knee injury.

In her place, Cinthya Rivas and Maia Robinson combined to score 20 points on 10-of-21 shooting and 11 rebounds.

“I thought Maia and Cinthya played really well inside,” Cryer said. “I also thought their help defense was really big. That was awesome. I was proud of the two of them.”

The fourth quarter was a bit more of what went on in the first half, with Rice making most of their shots and extended their lead.

Freshman Callie Maddox led McNeese in scoring with 16 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the free throw line. Sophomore Regan Bolton scored in double-figures with 13 points on 50 percent shooting.

The schedule does not get easier in the next couple of games for the Cowgirls, though they do get a long break. First, they travel to play Conference USA favorite Alabama-Birmingham on Dec. 8. Then they come back to Louisiana and play at LSU on Dec. 11.

Despite the tough start to the season and the tough road that awaits the Cowgirls, Cryer believes that the best is yet to come and is remaining positive.

“I have to stay patient because we have a young team,” Cryer said. “I have to stay patient because this team’s new and trying to figure things out together. We all have to stay positive about it. If you watch us, you see the potential and what we can be. That’s what you have to focus on.”

Rice  93  |  Cowgirls  65

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