Lake Charles, La. - In a battle of Southland Conference Division women's leaders, McNeese State prevailed 57- 48 over Sam Houston Wednesday night.

The Baggett twins, Ashlyn and Caitlyn combined for 32 points as the pair sparked a second half run that powered the Cowgirls to victory, upping McNeese State's record to 17-5 for the year and 7-1 in Southland action.

Britni Martin, Sequeena Thomas and Angela Beadle all scored in double figures. Martin led the team with 14 points. Thomas pulled down a season high 19 rebounds and scored 13 points. Beadle added 11 points and eight rebounds.

Sam Houston, now 10-9 for the year and 5-3 in Southland play, led once in each half.

Martin hit two free throws to give the Kats a 35-33 lead with 12:52 remaining in the game. A lay-up by Ashlyn Baggett, who led both teams with 18 points, started an 11-0 McNeese run. The Cowgirls jumped out to a 44-35 lead with 8:23 to go. Sam Houston never came closer than nine points the rest of the game.

The Cowgirls totaled 21 field goals while Sam Houston hit 20. The big difference in the game came at the free throw line with McNeese was 10-of-15 while Sam Houston ended 4-of-7. McNeese also forced 18 SHSU turnovers while the Cowgirls committed only 10 miscues.

"In the second half we let turnovers and mistakes affect our game," SHSU head coach Brenda Nichols said. "We need to learn to play with intensity for the entire 40 minutes."

Sam Houston State returns to Johnson Coliseum for a home game Saturday at 2 p.m. with Southeastern Louisiana.