ALEXANDRIA, La. – The Louisiana College women’s basketball team officially opened its 2020-21 campaign in grand fashion, pulling a near wire-to-wire victory over conference-foe McMurry in a non-conference match-up, as the Lady Wildcats defeated the War Hawks 63-50 Saturday afternoon at The Fort on the campus of LSU Alexandria.
McMurry’s only lead of the game came just about two minutes into the contest as a three pointer gave the War Hawks a 3-2 lead. A couple possessions later, Alexis Lege gave the Lady ‘Cats the lead for good as she picked off a pass and went the distance for a lay-up and a 4-3 lead. That bucket started an 11-1 LC run that Kristen Breaux capped with a shot from long distance for a 13-4 lead. The lead hit double digits for the first time when Kayla Kinney sank a pair of free throws for a 20-10 lead with less than 2:00 left in the first period. LC led 22-12 after one period of play.
The War Hawks would pull back to start the second quarter, opening on a 9-2 run to close the gap to just three points. But Alex Harrison came up clutch with a needed three-pointer with less than four minutes left before halftime to start a big run and open the advantage again going into the break. Over the final four minutes of the second quarter, the Lady ‘Cats outscored the War Hawks 15-2, including the final 12 of the period. Harrison was hacked as she released a heave to beat the halftime buzzer and made McMurry pay for the foul by sinking all three free throws to make the score 39-23 Lacy ‘Cats at the break.
LC’s half-ending run continued into the third quarter as a jumper by Olivia Scott and another three-pointer by Harrison stretched the run to 17-0 as the Lady ‘Cats took their largest lead of the contest at 44-23 following the Harrison long ball with 8:30 left in the period. McMurry wouldn’t go silently into the rainy afternoon, however, getting the LC lead down to 11 points with less than two minutes left in the third before the Lady ‘Cats took a 50-37 lead to the final period.
Following a War Hawk three to open the final period of play, LC scored the next six to bump the lead up to 16 as a Kristen Breaux lay-up with seven minutes left gave the Lady ‘Cats a 56-40 lead. But a 10-0 McMurry run made it crunch time over the final 3:30. However, the defense tightened up and the Lady ‘Cats would not allow another point to the War Hawks, finishing the game on a 7-0 run for the 63-50 final.
“It’s always fun to get a win,” said Matt LeBato, Louisiana College Head Women’s Basketball Coach. “But more importantly, it was good to get out and just be able to play. We’ve been practicing for months and giving these girls the chance to come play means a lot and seeing them thrive in this moment is big time. We’ve faced our obstacles but we’re here to work and they come to work every day and I’m just so proud of this group.”
Alex Harrison had a very efficient evening for the Lady ‘Cats, making six of her nine shots from the field, including three of four from long range, as well as hit all five free throws to lead all scorers with 20 points. She also grabbed four rebounds, collected a steal, and blocked a War Hawk shot. Kristen Breaux was LC’s only other double-figure scorer with 14 points with eight rebounds. Tremeeka Spikes grabbed a team high nine rebounds, while Christina Canale and Lauren Walker tied for the team lead with five assists apiece.
LC finished the game hitting 33.3% from the field as a team and took advantage of their 12 trips to the free throw line, hitting 11 of those 12 attempts.
The Lady Wildcats (1-0) now get to enjoy the holiday break before coming back for the spring semester to kick off the American Southwest Conference schedule at home. ASC play begins on January 7th as LC welcomes in Howard Payne. Tip-off against the Yellow Jackets (0-0) is set for 5:30 P.M. inside H.O. West Fieldhouse.