Lamar University women’s basketball coach Robin Harmony wasn’t happy with the way her team started Saturday. But she sure was happy about the way the Lady Cardinals finished.
Lamar fell into an early 12-2 deficit before rolling to an 81-64 win over visiting Sam Houston State in a Southland Conference game at the Montagne Center.
Lamar (15-10 overall, 10-4 Southland) outscored the Bearkats 43-28 in the second half, a margin that would have been even larger had the Bearkats not closed out the game on a 12-3 run in the final minutes after the outcome had been decided.
“We can’t keep living like this. We can’t keep falling behind early and battling back,” Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. “I don’t understand why we start so slow.”
Once the Lady Cardinals did get going, the Bearkats had no way of stopping them. Four Lamar players scored in double figures, led by JaMeisha Edwards with 22 points. Shauna Long had 18 points, Dominique Edwards scored 12 points and Gia Ayers had 10 points to go along with team highs of eight rebounds and seven assists.
Sam Houston State (11-14, 6-8) had trouble with Lamar’s defense, committing 23 turnovers that led to 30 Lady Cardinals’ points.
“We got a lot of transition buckets through our pressure,” Harmony said. “We wore them down in the second half. They had trouble keeping up with us.”
Morghen Day and Jasmine Johnson had 14 points apiece for Sam Houston State. Angela Beadle, Sam Houston State’s leading scorer and rebounder, finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, scoring six points in the final 2:44.
“I thought we did a good job of controlling Beadle,” Harmony said. “We kept her off the board when we needed to.”
The win kept Lamar in sole possession of second place in the conference, one game behind Central Arkansas and one game ahead of Stephen F. Austin and Nicholls with four games remaining.
The top eight teams qualify for next month’s Southland Conference Tournament in Katy, Texas. The top two teams receive byes into the semifinals, while the third- and fourth-place teams receive first-round byes.
“We still control our own destiny,” Harmony said. “We can’t change the past. But we can take care of business in the future.”
The Lady Cardinals hit the road for a pair of conference games. Lamar is at Oral Roberts at 5 p.m. Thursday before a showdown at Central Arkansas at 2 p.m. March 1. Lamar closes out the regular season with home games against New Orleans on March 6 and Southeastern Louisiana on March 8. The Southland Conference Tournament runs from March 13 through March 16.