Lamar ends ACU’s conference winning streak

Published 11:22 pm Thursday, February 4, 2016

BEAUMONT — Baileigh O’Dell could not believe she scored 17 points Thursday against Abilene Christian.
She put her head in her hands looking at the statistics and shook her head. What O’Dell could believe though was the Lamar Cardinals knocked off the Southland Conference-leading Abilene Christian Wildcats.
Lamar forced 25 turnovers and handed ACU its first SLC defeat, 63-54. The Cardinals (9-13, 5-6) also limited the Wildcats (18-3, 9-1) to only six three-pointers on 36 attempts.
“We definitely did a better job stopping the penetration,” Lamar coach Robin Harmony said.
O’Dell’s performance in the second half could only be shadowed by a teammate who probably casts the smallest shadow, 5-foot-2 Addesha Collins.
Collins finished with 22 points and grabbed 11 huge rebounds. The 11 boards are a career high and it was her first career double-double.
“Addesha in the beginning set the tone for the game,” Harmony said. “She is the one who scored first and she had a lot of energy. She hustled and she was not afraid. She is four-foot-nothing and what she did for us tonight was the difference.”
Lamar never trailed in the game and went up by as many as 14 in the third quarter. The Cardinals took a 54-40 lead after Collins knocked down two free throws with 4:23 left in the frame.
It was a stark comparison to the 90-62 hurting ACU put on Lamar this past Saturday in Abilene.
Collins only took three shots in Saturday’s lost and did not make a basket. O’Dell missed all eight of her shots in the lopsided loss.
Thursday night was different but neither player could put a finger on exactly what changed.
“After we lost to their place, everyone took it to heart and was upset about it,” O’Dell said. “I didn’t want to be the only one to come out and not have that anger. I am so surprised by this because I felt I could not make anything tonight.
“At Abilene’s house, I just wasn’t feeling it. Their fans were crazy. I think I let them get in my head a little bit more than I should have. Maybe, a lot more than I should have.”
Collins said the loss also spurred the type of game the Cardinals played on Thursday.
“We were more focused tonight,” Collins added.
The Cardinals made 21 of 70 shots Thursday and were 15 of 23 from the free throw line.
Freshman Chastadie Barrs came close to a rare type of double-double with a career-high eight steals and 12 rebounds.
Khali Pippins-Tryon came off the bench to score 10 points.
The Cardinals defense held the Wildcats to 26-percent shooting. ACU did get 30 points and eight rebounds from Alexis Mason. Mason came into the game as the third-leading score in the SLC at 16.7 points a contest.
Lamar tries to make it two in a row at 2 p.m. Saturday against Houston Baptist.

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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.

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