Lady Lions fall to McNeese Cowgirls


Brynn Lundy

Breonca Ducksworth totaled 14 points in the loss to McNeese State University. Ducksworth is a transfer guard from Jones Community College in Mississippi.

The Lady Lions suffered their first at-home loss of the season to the McNeese State University Cowgirls with a final score of 72-80 at the University Center on Jan. 20.

The evening’s game was the first of a six-game homestand for the Lady Lions. 

Head coach Ayla Guzzardo shared that the team kept on fighting even as the Cowgirls took the lead.

“Probably the third and fourth, we didn’t give up. We fought back,” said Guzzardo. “We just can’t have the starts that we had in the first and second, offensively and defensively. Overall, they didn’t give up. There were spurts that caused a lot of turnovers, we had energy plays, we knocked down some good shots, but we dug ourselves a hole early.”

The head coach discussed what improvements the Lady Lions will focus on when preparing for their next game this Saturday.

“We gotta play together on the defensive end and on the offensive end,” she said. “We gotta make the right read, the extra pass and, ultimately, we gotta make shots. We have to make our easy layups. We worked hard to get to the rim — we just gotta put the ball in the basket and hit our free throws.”

The game fell on the first day of the Spring 2021 semester, something Guzzardo believed shifted focus for the team.

“We were just playing basketball for a while, now they’re going to school,” said Guzzardo. “They’re going to study hall, making sure they have their books — it’s a lot. At home, there’s a lot more distractions. On the road, we have a lot more free time, more focus on basketball.”

Junior guard and Wednesday’s game leader Cierria Cunningham, scoring 18 points total, shared her thoughts on the team’s mindset when it comes to home games.

“I think on home games, we get a little bit too comfortable because we’re at home, so we think it’s just going to be easy,” said No. 2.” 

Senior guard Breonca Ducksworth scored the first point of the game with a free throw and 14 points total. She expressed a similar sentiment regarding home games.

“First, we need to come more locked in on home games,” said Ducksworth. “We kind of let it slip. We just gotta be focused. During away games, we’re more hype for each other. We just gotta bring that.”

Ducksworth described how she and her teammates will balance academics and basketball now that the semester has started.

“We have like six hours of study hall, so we’re going to make sure we’re on top of that,” she said. “Getting more shots, also, in between. Holding each other accountable more. Everybody’s holding each other accountable, so I feel like we’re gonna get another dub come Saturday.”

The Lady Lions will look to get back into the win column against Northwestern State University on Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. in the University Center.