first_imgIn stark contrast to Tuesday’s game, when UCA trailed for more than 28 minutes, the Sugar Bears led wire-to-wire on Friday, building their largest halftime lead of the season at 37-16 before outscoring the Lady Toppers 34-14 in the second half to top 70 points for consecutive games for the first time since doing so in three straight games from December 2012 into January of 2013. Trailing 55-52 with 41 seconds to play, Johnson came through in the clutch as she was fouled while driving to the basket.  Johnson made the layup and converted the free throw to tie the game at 55. The tie was the 11th of the game.  After several timeouts, Rice’s leading scorer Jasmine Goodwine made a jumper in the lane with two seconds left to give Rice a 57-55 lead.  Rice 57, McNeese State 55HOUSTON, Texas— McNeese State women’s basketball had a chance to pick up its first road win of the season but junior Jayln Johnson’s three-pointer at the buzzer missed to the left, handing the Cowgirls a 57-55 overtime loss to Rice Friday. The loss gave Nicholls (3-5) back-to-back losses for the first time this season and dropped the squad to 0-4 on the road. With the win, Texas Tech improved to 7-2 on the season and 2-0 all-time against the Colonels. Nicholls will take on Houston (4-5) on Saturday in the Athletes in Action Tournament, with tipoff scheduled for 12 p.m. McNeese ended the game shooting 33.9 percent from the field on 21 of 62 from the field.  The Cowgirls struggled from behind the arc, making one of 15 but that one by Baggett was very important at the time. The Colonels hung around the first five minutes of the second half, cutting the deficit to single digits on two different occasions. The first came on a Nash 3-pointer to make the score 45-36 and the last was on a bucket inside by Jovana Manchic at the 14:06 mark. Sihvola scored a career-high 19 points for HBU (5-4), as she shot 8-of-11 from the floor and tied a career high with three 3-pointers made. Steenholdt earned her seventh double-double of the season, as she led all players with 24 points and 10 rebounds. The Huskies had seven blocks, four from Anna Strickland, which was a new personal best. HBU shot 45 percent from the floor in the game. Texas Tech answered over the next five minutes by outscoring Nicholls 14-3 to take a 61-41 lead. The Lady Raiders led by as much 29 before the final buzzer. The Cowgirls didn’t help their cause by turning the ball over 18 times and allowing Rice to score 16 points off those turnovers. After Steenholdt’s jumper gave the Huskies their largest lead of the game at 57-36 with seven minutes to go, McMurry used a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 12, 57-45, with 4:35 remaining. A Tayler Jefferson three-pointer stopped the bleeding and brought the Huskies back up 15. Caro Lloyd’s put-back with 23 seconds to go gave the Huskies a 21-point advantage. HBU will take a week off for Christmas before entertaining Huston-Tillotson Sunday, Dec. 28 at 2 pm in Sharp Gym. Nicholls finished with 22 turnovers and was outrebounded 48-29. The team had five assists on 15 made field goals, getting two each from Nash and Tia Charles. McMurry scored the next nine points to take a 21-20 lead, but HBU closed out the half with a 16-2 run to lead the War Hawks by 13, 36-23. The 41-point victory is the widest margin of victory for the Sugar Bears since a 98-36 win against Central Baptist on Nov. 14 of last year and the fourth highest of head coach Sandra Rushing’s tenure at Central Arkansas. Texas Tech had four players in double figures in scoring, led by Rayven Brooks with 16. The Lady Raiders shot 43 percent from the field and was 11-of-25 from behind the arc. McNeese had one last chance to win the game, but Johnson’s three-pointer missed to the left as the clock expired. Kendara Watts led the Sugar Bears in scoring with 20 on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 at the free throw line, with Maggie Proffitt adding 17 including shooting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. The three 3-pointers gives Proffitt 89 for her career, moving her past Megan Herbert and Britney Gowans for 4th place in UCA’s Division I history behind Rogers (101), Westin Taylor (139) and MIcah Rice (166). Central Arkansas 71. Blue Mountain 30 CONWAY, Ark. — After struggling for much of the game before pulling away late against Williams Baptist on Tuesday, Central Arkansas left no doubt about the outcome on Friday, jumping on top of Blue Mountain College early and pulling away for a 71-30 win in the Farris Center.  McClure and Brianna Mullins combined for 11 assists to just three turnovers in the game, more than three times their combined assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.06 to 1 coming in. In all, the Sugar Bears assisted on 21 of their 25 field goals. Mullins (6.1 per game) and McClure (5.6) entered the game as the Sugar Bears’ leading rebounders despite being listed at 5-foot-6 and 5-8, respectively. Rice outscored McNeese 7-5 in overtime but the Cowgirls still had one last chance to win the game at the end.  Rice jumped out to a 53-50 lead in the overtime period before McNeese scored their first points on a Jasmyn Carswell layup. The Sugar Bears (6-5) shot a season-high 55.6 percent from the field (25 of 45) while putting the clamps on the Lady Toppers (5-4), who shot just 18.9 percent (10 of 53) – including 12.5 percent (2-16) from 3-point range – the lowest for a Sugar Bear opponent this year. Johnson led the Cowgirls with 15 points on the night, scoring nine from the free throw line.  Allison Baggett, the Cowgirls’ leading scorer was held to seven points and was face-guarded the whole game.  Houston Baptist 69, McMurry 49Central Arkansas 71. Blue Mountain 30Rice 57, McNeese State 55Texas Tech 76, Nicholls 49 – Return to top – – Return to top – The Huskies had an answer to any potential McMurry run, as the closest the War Hawks came in the next seven minutes was 16 points. McNeese (5-5) began the second half on a 5-0 run to take a 26-22 lead two minutes into the second half with all five points coming from Johnson. The game went back and forth the rest of the way.  McNeese will take a break for the Christmas holiday and will return to action on Dec. 29 to host Texas Southern.  It took a little while for the Cowgirls to get things going and used their press to do so.  With the Cowgirls leading 14-12 with five minutes left in the half, a jumper by Baggett started a 7-0 run to push the Cowgirl lead to 19-12. Rice answered with a 7-2 run to end the first half.  McNeese went into the locker room with a slim 21-19 lead. HBU started the second half outscoring the War Hawks, 6-1, to lead 42-24 with 15:43 remaining in the second half. McMurry took a timeout after Strickland forced a turnover which led to a Steenholdt layup. The Sugar Bears got a big day out of sophomore guard Kelsey McClure, who played a team-high 34 minutes and logged eight points, three steals and career highs with seven assists and 16 rebounds – equaling the highest rebounding total for a Sugar Bear since Herbert’s 17 at McNeese State on March 2, 2013. With the second half winding down, Rice held a 50-47 lead with 2:20 to play but Baggett made the Cowgirls’ only three-pointer of the game with 1:17 to play to tie the game at 50.  McNeese’s Ann Nwosah blocked a Megan Palmer three-pointer on Rice’s next possession but the Cowgirls turned the ball over on their next possession with 20 seconds left in regulation.  A missed jumper by Rice’s Christal Porter with five seconds left sent the game in overtime. – Return to top – Following this weekend’s action, Nicholls will have a week off for the holidays before hosting Southern Miss on Monday, Dec. 29, in the squad’s 2014 finale. UCA will conclude its non-conference slate on Dec. 30 when the Sugar Bears host Austin Peay, then begin Southland Conference play on the road at Abilene Christian on Jan. 3. Jenny Nash led the team with 11 points and five rebounds and Shay Arnick came off the bench for a season-high 11 points, all in the first half. Arnick kept the Colonels close in the first half as Nicholls went into the break down 39-27. Texas Tech 76, Nicholls 49 LUBBOCK, Texas – The Nicholls State University women’s basketball team was held to 31 percent shooting against Texas Tech and the Lady Raiders made a season-high 11 3-pointers as the Colonels were defeated, 76-49, on Friday night at United Supermarkets Arena. Both Steenholdt and Sihvola scored 12 points to lead HBU in the first half, while Welch had seven points for McMurry. McMurry (1-12) had three players in double figures, led by Haley Welch with 12. Adijatu Disu and Taylor Russell each dropped 11. Russell pulled down a team-best nine rebounds. The War Hawks shot 31 percent from the floor. Houston Baptist 69, McMurry 49HOUSTON, Texas – Senior forward Shanice Steenholdt and sophomore guard Heidi Sihvola combined for 43 points as HBU defeated visiting McMurry, 69-49, Friday night in Sharp Gym. The teams battled back and forth early on and, with the teams knotted at eight-all at the 16:11-mark, HBU pulled ahead by eight following a 12-4 run that was culminated by a three-pointer by Sihvola that gave the Huskies a 20-12 advantage with 12:11 to go in the opening half. – Return to top –last_img

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