LAKE CHARLES, La. – Jayln Johnson scored six of her 12 points in the final 2:20 of the game Saturday afternoon as McNeese State outscored ACU 11-4 in the final minutes to take a 71-64 win over the Wildcats in Southland Conference women's basketball action at Burton Coliseum.
The game was tied 60-60 after Sydney Shelstead hit a layup for ACU, but Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 2:20 to play to give her team the lead and the Cowgirls would not trail the rest of the way in a physical contest.
After the 3-pointer by Johnson, ACU senior Renata Marquez hit a layup with 1:58 to play to cut the McNeese State lead to 63-62. But NeTanya Jones hit a layup just 15 seconds later to push the lead back to 65-62. Shelstead answered again for the Wildcats, however, putting in another layup in one of her best games of the season, cutting the Cowgirls' lead to 65-64.
But with 60 seconds left in the game, Allison Baggett buried the dagger 3-pointer to give her team a 68-64 lead. Johnson hit three free throws in the final 20 seconds to help the Cowgirls pull away for the win.
The Wildcats started the game on fire from 3-point range as they hit 9 of 17 shots from beyond the arc in the first half, led by freshman Alexis Mason, who was 5 of 9 from the arc for 16 first-half points. But the Cowgirls shut down ACU's outside game in the second half, limiting the Wildcats to 1 for 8 shooting from 3-point range in the second half. Mason was 0 for 1 from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes and didn't score.
Marquez led the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points, while Mason had 16 and Shelstead 10 off the bench. Lizzy Dimba had six points and eight rebounds, while her twin sister, Suzzy Dimba, was limited by foul trouble and finished with three points and three rebounds.
The loss for the Wildcats drops them to 16-12 overall and 6-6 in the Southland Conference as they get set to play their final road game of the season: Monday at 1 p.m. at Southeastern Louisiana in a makeup of a game that originally was forfeited to the Wildcats. ACU will wrap up its first season at the NCAA Division I level next Saturday at 1 p.m. when it hosts Incarnate Word at Moody Coliseum.