McNeese State wins first tourney title
KATY, Texas -- McNeese State its first State Farm Southland Conference Tournament and earned its first NCAA Tournament berth Friday night with a 71-50 victory against Central Arkansas in the championship game. The Cowgirls are one of several women's teams to win both the regular season title and the tournament championship. McNeese will find out its NCAA Tournament opponent and game site during the NCAA selection show on ESPN on Monday.
"I'm not sure if there are words to describe it," McNeese State coach Brooks Donald Williams said.
Sophomore Ashlyn Baggett was named the tournament's most valuable player after leading the Cowgirls with 23 points. Baggett connected on 10 of 19 from the field including two 3-pointers. Sister Caitlyn was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 15 points and dished out a game high six assists. Kendra Wells was also the other Cowgirl named to the all-tournament team.
"It's a special group that came together as a team over the summer," she said. "This is group of fighters that have fought all year long. I'm proud of what they've accomplished."
McNeese built up a 25-point lead 7 minutes into the second half on an Ashlyn Baggett jumper. The Cowgirls led by 20 or more points for most of the second half.
McNeese took the early lead in the game on a Kiara Johnson putback for a 2-0 Cowgirl lead one minute into the game. The Cowgirls trailed briefly before retaking the lead for good and held as much as an 11 point lead three times in the half including its 37-26 halftime lead.
McNeese shot 57.1 percent from the field, making 16 of 28 shots including three of five treys. The Cowgirls shot 66.7 percent from the free-throw line by making two of three.