Sugar Bears fall to late McNeese rally

KATY, Texas — Seventh-seeded McNeese State rallied from a seven-point deficit late to take a 66-62 victory over the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Southland Conference tournament.

The third-seeded UCA women (18-12) lost their fourth straight.

“I think we gave up 40 points in the paint. I just really think they wanted it more than us,” said UCA coach Sandra Rushing.

McNeese held a 40-26 edge on the glass while also getting a double-double from Cecelia Okoye (18 points, 15 rebounds) in what was a physical contest between the two rivals.

Trailing 60-56 with 1:02 left, Allison Baggett’s whose 3-point attempt took one long bounce before falling in to cut the margin to one with 56 seconds remaining

The Sugar Bears’ Courtney Duever had a shot go in and out and the Cowgirls’ Jayln Johnson (19 points, six assists) scored on a fast-break basket, then converted the ensuing free throw to give the Cowgirls a 62-60 lead with 20 seconds remaining. Duever's shot for a tie was short and Okoye closed the game with free throws.


Senior Micah Rice led UCA with 19 points.

Further details in Saturday's Log Cabin.


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