Lamar can earn tourney spot Wednesday

Published 10:39 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Lamar sports information
BEAUMONT – The Lamar University Cardinals can secure a spot in next week’s Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament with a win at Sam Houston State on Wednesday night. A loss would mean they would have to watch the out-of-town scoreboard on Saturday to learn their fate.
The Cardinals (11-17 overall, 7-10 Southland) enter Wednesday’s game with the Bearkats (10-16, 6-10) holding on to the seventh seed in the eight-team tournament. However, the Cards are only a half-game behind Nicholls and Houston Baptist, who are tied for the No. 5 spot at 7-9. In addition, LU is just a half-game ahead of Sam Houston State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who are tied for the eighth spot at 6-10.
Those teams all have two games remaining. The Cardinals, who are seeking to qualify for the conference tournament for the 11th straight season, are the only Southland Conference team not in action on the final day of the regular season. The Cardinals are guaranteed a spot with a win at Sam Houston State or if Texas A&M-Corpus Christi loses its final two games. The numerous other scenarios would involve tiebreaker procedures, some which have LU making the tournament, others that would leave the Cardinals on the outside looking in.
“We just have to go there and find a way to win. We want to be able to control our own destiny,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “We know it won’t be easy.”
This is the second meeting of the season between the Cardinals and Bearkats. Sam Houston State was a 78-76 winner over LU at the Montagne Center. Baileigh O’Dell led LU with 20 points in that game, while Kiara Desamours had 19 points. Angela Beadle had 20 points and 18 rebounds for Sam Houston State.
LU leads the overall series 31-26, and has won the last four meetings at Sam Houston State’s Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
Guard Addesha Collins, the only senior on the LU roster, leads the Cardinals in scoring, averaging 15.2 points per game. Forward Kiara Desamours averages 10.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, tops among all Southland Conference freshmen in both categories. Freshman guard Chastadie Barrs averages 9.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. The candidate for conference defensive player of the year is second in the nation in steals, averaging 4.07 per contest.
Sam Houston State’s Shernise Robertson leads the conference in scoring, averaging 18.3 points per game. Beadle averages 14.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per contest.
The Cardinals come in off a 67-61 road win at Incarnate Word on Saturday, just the second win away from the Montagne Center this season. LU’s Laka Blache registered her second straight double-double and fifth of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
“We need Laka to come out and play like that against Sam Houston State,” Harmony said. “We can’t let Beadle have a field day again. We also need to get better play from our guards than we did at Incarnate Word.”
Wednesday’s game will be an internet-only broadcast on
The conference tournament is scheduled for March 10-13 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy.

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