McNeese State rallies to reach WBI title game

VERMILLION, S.D. — Guard Ashlyn Baggett scored a game-high 26 points, including 12 during a 27-5 run during the second half, as McNeese State posted a 71-63 victory against South Dakota in the Women’s Basketball Invitational semifinals Thursday night at the DakotaDome.

McNeese State (21-14) advanced to Saturday’s final, where it will face Detroit at 2 p.m.

South Dakota got 20 points from Nicole Seekamp and 15 from Tempestt Wilson but had its season end at 19-16. The Coyotes built a 10-point lead in the first half and led 45-33 with 13 minutes to play. USD made just one of its next 13 shots from the field, and eight minutes later the Cowgirls led 60-50.

Baggett had seven points on 2-of-13 shooting before leading her team down the stretch. She made five of her final six shots, including two 3-pointers, and made 9 of 13 free throws. She also finished a rebound shy of a double-double.

Twin sister Caitlyn Baggett added 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting and six assists.

South Dakota made 14 of 28 shots in the first half but was 6 of 28 in the second. The Coyotes were 4 of 18 from 3-point range and made 19 of 23 free throws.