Lamar women crank it up against UNO

Published 11:10 pm Monday, January 4, 2016

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — The Lamar women’s basketball team shook off a slow start to cruise to a 79-52 win over New Orleans in a Southland Conference game Monday night.

The host Cardinals (5-8 overall, 1-1 Southland) trailed 6-0 less than two minutes into the game before LU coach Robin Harmony called a timeout to stop the bleeding. The strategy worked, as LU held a 17-15 lead after one quarter and a 37-26 advantage at halftime.

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“We all took it upon ourselves to step up,” said LU senior guard JaMeisha Edwards, who finished with 18 points, giving her 995 for her career. “That kind of woke us up.”

LU had four players score in double figures, led by senior guard Addesha Collins with 19 points for her fifth straight game in double figures. In addition to the 18 points from Edwards, LU got 13 points from Khali Pippins-Tryon to tie a career high, while Laka Blache added 12 points.

Freshman forward Kiara Desamours just missed her third career double-double, finishing with eight points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

“Kiara did a tremendous job on the boards,” Harmony said. “She was tenacious tonight.”

The Cardinals also forced the Privateers (3-7, 0-1) into 27 turnovers and blocked nine UNO shots. Desamours and Chastadie Barrs had four steals and two blocks apiece, while Blache blocked three shots.

“It all starts with our defense,” Harmony said. “We did a good throughout the game.”

Pippins-Tryon, who had started the previous seven games, said she felt comfortable coming off the bench.

“I just wanted to play good defense and help us win,” she said. “It felt good to get the 13 points as well.”

Harmony replaced Pippins-Tryon in the starting lineup to give LU two seniors on the court to start the game.

“We know we’re going to have to rely on these two seniors,” Harmony said. “Addesha has been playing well and deserved to start.”

Despite the convincing win, Harmony knows her team still has a long way to go.

“We’re still 5-8,” she said. “We will remind them of that at practice on Tuesday. We’ll still work hard, we’ll just be a little happier.”

LU returns to action at 7 p.m. Thursday when it hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the Montagne Center. After that, the Cardinals take to the road for conference games at Central Arkansas on Jan. 11 and Southeastern Louisiana on Jan. 14.

“That will be a long bus trip that will be even longer if we lose on Thursday,” Harmony said. “We will enjoy the win tonight, but we’re right back to business tomorrow.”