Lamar women roll over Howard Payne

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, December 31, 2015

BEAUMONT — Laka Blache and Kiara Desamours each registered double-doubles as the Lamar Cardinals rolled to an 88-50 win over visiting Howard Payne in a nonconference women’s basketball game Wednesday evening.

Blache had 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, while Desamours had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals (4-7). It was the first time LU had two players with double-doubles since Dec. 2, 2014, when Caroline Adesulu and Kiandra Bowers accomplished the feat against Huston-Tillotson.

LU started out slow against the Lady Jackets (3-7), as the Cardinals trailed 21-18 after one quarter before taking a 38-30 lead into halftime. LU pulled away in the third quarter, scoring the first 14 points after intermission to increase its lead to 52-30 with 5:13 remaining in the third quarter. Howard Payne would get no closer than 19 points the rest of the way.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We started out slowly, and that’s something we have to work on,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “We can’t always afford to start slowly and allow a team to score 21 points in the first quarter. But we got things together and regained our composure.”

The Cardinals had five players score in double figures, the first time that happened this season. JaMeisha Edwards led LU with 17 points, Blache and Chastadie Barrs each had 14 points, Addesha Collins added 13 points off the bench, and Desamours had 11. Baileigh O’Dell just missed giving LU its sixth double-figure scorer, as she finished with nine points.

“It’s nice to see us get balanced scoring like that,” Harmony said. “That’s the way our offense is set up. Everybody is going to get a chance to score.”

The Cardinals dominated the boards, outrebounding the Lady Jackets 64-32. LU had a whopping 26 offensive rebounds, leading to a 19-3 advantage in second-chance points. LU also controlled the inside game, outscoring Howard Payne 48-14 in points in the paint. The 64 rebounds were the eighth-highest total in LU history.

All 11 LU players grabbed at least one rebound. Khali Pippins-Tryon had a career-high six rebounds, while Lejha Smith’s six rebounds were a season best. Barrs, who entered the game second in the nation in steals with an average of 4.0 per game, had a career-high seven thefts.

Danyel Bradley led Howard Payne with 26 points, while Kristin Cunningham added 11 points off the bench. The Jackets shot just 29.2 percent from the field (19 of 65), including 25.0 percent (7 of 28) from three-point range. The 28 three-point attempts were the second most tried by an LU opponent this season.

LU opens Southland Conference play when it travels to Nicholls at 1 p.m. Saturday before hosting New Orleans at 5 p.m. Monday in the SLC home opener.

“I’m looking forward to the conference season,” Desamours said. “I believe we have a team that compete for a conference championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.”

Harmony is also looking to the start of conference play.

“We’re 0-0 right now,” she said. “We’re a young team, and I think we were picked to finish first just to give us a hard time, but we’ll wear that target and relish the chance to represent this university.”


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

email author More by I.C.