Lady Cards can be co-champs with win Saturday

Published 6:48 pm Friday, March 7, 2014

The entire regular season for the Lamar Lady Cardinals boils down to one game: Saturday’s clash with Southeastern Louisiana at the Montagne Center. Tipoff is 4 p.m.

    A win would give the Lady Cardinals (17-11 overall, 12-5 Southland Conference) a share of the conference crown for the first time since the 2009-10 season. A loss would leave Lamar tied for second.

    “We have to give it everything we have,” Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. “We’d like to raise a banner next season.”

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    A Lamar win combined with a Stephen F. Austin win over Central Arkansas would give the Lady Cardinals a share of the Southland title with SFA and the top seed in next week’s Southland Conference Tournament. It would also assure a guaranteed berth in a postseason tournament.

    Should Central Arkansas and Lamar both win, the teams would tie for the Southland title, but Central Arkansas would hold the tiebreaker advantage for the top seed.

    All other scenarios would give the Lady Cardinals the No. 2 seed. In any event, Lamar has earned a bye into the tourney semifinals, meaning the Lady Cardinals won’t play until next Saturday in Katy.

    “Having a bye into the semifinals is nice,” Harmony said. “It means you have to just win twice to win the tourney. That’s a lot better than having to win three or four games in as many days.”

    Southeastern Louisiana (8-21, 7-10) has already been officially eliminated from tournament consideration, so Saturday’s game will be the last of the season for the Lady Lions.

    Southeastern Louisiana was a 67-62 winner over Lamar back on Jan. 18 in Hammond, La.

    Saturday will be Senior Day for Lamar, as the Lady Cardinals honor four players who will be playing their last regular-season game: Gia Ayers, Francesca Bellatin, Chantelle Brockett and Alice Robinson. Ayers, who leads Lamar in scoring (15.3), will be playing her 100th career game.