Lamar women capture second straight

Published 10:53 pm Saturday, January 23, 2016

BEAUMONT — Robin Harmony finally feels good enough about her Lamar Cardinals to let the women have a day off Sunday.
The Cardinals played one of their best games of the season Saturday at the Montagne Center and defeated Houston Baptist 77-70.
Lamar (9-11, 4-4) got 24 points from Addesha Collins and a career-high seven steals from freshman Chastadie Barrs. Barrs scored 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
Collins, Barrs and sophomore Baileigh O’Dell each played all 40 minutes in the game. O’Dell was the only Lamar starter to not score in double digits. She finished with eight points, four assists and three steals.
The Lamar starters, including Laka Blache and Kiara Desamours, played a combined 188 of the 200 minutes and scored all of the Cardinals’ points. Blache had 16 points and Desamours finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, two boards short of her fourth double-double of the season.
“It feels good to have a day off,” Barrs said. “It feels good to go off with a win.”
This is the first time Lamar has been at .500 in Southland Conference play since falling to 2-2 on Jan. 11 after a 74-49 loss to Central Arkansas. It was the first win on a Saturday this season for the Cardinals, who had been 0-4 on that day entering the game against the Huskies (8-9, 3-4).
“It was a great win at home,” Harmony said. “Houston Baptist is a very good team. They were at the SLC championship game last year. The kids did their job on the defensive end by causing all those turnovers. They were tired of losing and not performing well at home.”
Saturday was the first home victory since a 75-70 over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Jan. 7.
The Cardinals forced 24 Huskies and turned the HBU mistakes into eight points.
It was the visitors who started out on top as HBU jumped out to an early 6-2 lead behind two baskets from Anna Strickland. She posted her 13th double-double of the season with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
Lamar tied the game on a layup by Barrs, and Blache gave the Cardinals an 8-6 lead with a jumper. The Cardinals would never trail again and the Huskies would never even tie the game.
“Hats off to the kids for playing four quarters,” Harmony said. “We have been through a tough road. We are now in the thick of it and we don’t have to feel as panicked.”
The Cardinals played their fourth straight game missing leading scorer JaMeisha Edwards, who is still under concussion protocol.
Lamar held a 19-17 advantage heading into the second and stretched the lead to 31-21 off two free throws from Blache with 4:57 to go before the half.
The Cardinals led 39-31 at the break and 64-54 heading into the fourth.
Strickland cut it to eight with a layup to start the final stanza, and then Lamar scored the next nine points to build a 73-56 lead with 4:52 remaining in the game. The Cardinals are now 8-0 this year when leading with 5 minutes to go in a game and are 7-2 when ahead at halftime.
Harmony was proud of the way her team started the game and came in hot after halftime.
“We have to have a good start,” Harmony said. “We coaches hold our breath that we are going to get a basket so everyone can sit down.”
Collins, who came into the game ninth in scoring in SLC action at 16.6 points per game, said the starters were not tired after the game.
“We practice like this,” Collins added.
Rachael Adams led the Huskies with 20 points.
Lamar looks to go over .500 in the SLC standings when the Cardinals host Sam Houston State at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

email author More by Gabriel