The LadyKats ended a negative season on a positive note by beating McNeese in Huntsville last night.
The win was important not only in that it was the last game of the LadyKats’ season, but it was also the final game in Alice Johnson’s college career. With the seventh leading scorer in LadyKats’ history playing in her final game, her team wanted to send her away with a win.
“It was fun,” Johnson said about her team’s win. “Everybody wants to end something special on a good note.”
The game ended well, but it didn’t look well at the beginning.
SHSU started the game down 26-8. In fact, the LadyKats never had the lead until three minutes remained in the game.
What hurt SHSU in the first half was a combination of things. For one, the team made 37 percent (10-for-27), which normally is quite an impressive night, but not when the opposition shoots 56 percent (15-for-27). The Cowgirls also grabbed 15 defensive rebounds, which proved to be a bad combination for the LadyKats.
The LadyKats came back from halftime to outscore the Cowgirls 42-26 in the second half.
A large part of that had to do with McNeese’s big threat, Kellie Burbridge, fouling out of the game. She scored 20 points against the LadyKats in the two teams’ last meeting, but last night the LadyKats held her to only four.
“Burbridge only got to play 21 minutes,” head coach Erika Ritter said. “She fouled out, so that played to our advantage.”
Kelley Kramer lit the fire under the LadyKats when she opened up the second half with a 3-pointer. After going scoreless in the first half, Kramer lit up the boards in the second by nailing 10 points for her team.
“The team played well together and kept it close enough, but I wasn’t able to really come out until the second half because I got into foul trouble early,” Kramer said.
Johnson said goodbye with a bang by leading her team in scoring with 20 points. Also in double digits were Katrina Barclay with 11 and Kramer with 10.
The men were scheduled to play immediately after the women, which brought many fans of the men in to see the end of the women’s game.
The extra fan base seemed to energize the LadyKats into pulling out the victory in the end.
“That’s why we like playing before the men,” Ritter said. “We get their crowd in at the end when we really need a boost.”
Despite why the fans were there, the LadyKats were able to reward the SHSU faithful by sending them out with a victory.