LU women keep conference tourney hopes alive

Published 8:28 pm Saturday, February 27, 2016

Lamar sports information

SAN ANTONIO — Laka Blache registered he second straight double-double as the Lamar Cardinals defeated Incarnate Word 67-61 in a Southland Conference women’s basketball game Saturday afternoon.

The win boosted LU’s chances of securing a berth in next month’s Southland Conference Tournament in Katy.

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Blache had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinals (11-17 overall, 7-10 Southland) as LU snapped a four-game losing streak and won for just the second time on the road this season. It was Blache’s fifth double-double of the season.

“Laka Blache played like a big-time post player today,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “She played like we know she can. She came up big for us.”

LU trailed 28-27 at intermission before outscoring UIW 24-16 in the third quarter to take a 51-44 lead heading into the final period. Incarnate Word rallied to take a 59-56 lead with 2:59 remaining before LU closed the game with an 11-2 run. Blache scored six straight LU points within a span of 88 seconds to help secure the win. Baileigh O’Dell iced the game with two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to send UIW to its sixth straight loss.

“We kept our composure down the stretch,” Harmony said. “We learned our lesson from the last few games. We didn’t fold.”

O’Dell came off the bench to score 14 points for LU. Kiara Desamours had 14 points and six rebounds while matching a career high with four steals. Chastadie Barrs had 11 points, six rebounds and eight assists for LU, which moved to 5-0 all-time against UIW.

Yvonne Maosa and Melina Merritt led Incarnate Word (6-21, 3-13) with 15 points apiece. UIW had trouble with LU’s defense, going just 3-of-18 from three-point range.

LU wraps up the regular season when it travels to Sam Houston State at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. A win wraps up a berth in the conference tournament. There are numerous scenarios that would have the Cardinals getting in with a loss.