Lamar women fall late – again

Published 10:40 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lamar sports information
HUNTSVLLE — The Lamar University Cardinals Southland Conference tournament hopes now rest in the hands of other teams.
The Cardinals (11-18 overall, 7-11) failed to clinch a berth Wednesday as they dropped a 78-75 decision at Sam Houston State (11-16, 7-10) in their regular-season finale. Lamar is still alive for a tournament berth, but that bid will be determined by results from other Southland Conference games Thursday and Saturday. The Cardinals are the only SLC team with no regular-season games remaining. Right now, Lamar holds the eighth, and final berth. Houston Baptist is 7-9 with two games remaining, while Houston State and Nicholls are 7-10 with one game remaining. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi remains in the hunt at 6-10 with two games remaining.
Lamar is definitely in if Texas A&M-Corpus Christi loses its remaining two games. However, there are a myriad of scenarios, some with positive outcomes for LU some with negative outcomes, depending on the results of the remaining games.
Lamar would have wrapped up a tourney berth win a win Wednesday, but saw Sam Houston State (11-16, 7-10) rally from a 41-35 halftime deficit to boost its postseason hopes.
“We gave them too many chances in the second half,” Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. “They had 11 offensive rebounds in the second half. We did not do a good job of boxing out. We broke down on defense.”
LU sophomore Laka Blache had her third straight double-double, finishing with 10 points and 13 rebounds, but the Cardinals couldn’t handle Sam Houston State’s Angela Beadle, who had 28 points and 15 rebounds. Sam Houston State finished with a 19-6 advantage in second-chance points.
Lamar also suffered from woes at the free-throw line. The Cardinals shot just 59.3 percent (16-of-27) from the charity stripe.
“You can’t win when you shoot 59 percent on free throws,” Harmony said. We didn’t handle the pressure well. Give Sam Houston credit, they had some PTPers who stepped up tonight. We don’t have that yet.”
The Cardinals held a 68-64 lead with 4:30 remaining after a Kiara Desamours layup, only to see the Bearkats rally for the lead. LU had a pair of chances to tie the game or take the lead in the final minute, but a traveling call against LU when the score was 77-75 with 10 seconds remaining hurt. The Cards had one more chance to send the game into overtime after Beadle made just one of two free throws with five seconds remaining, but LU failed to get off a 3-point shot in its final possession.
LU saw all four of its freshmen score in double figures as Chastadie Barrs had 13 points and eight assists, while Kiara Desamours, Khali Pippins-Tryon and DeJa Roberts had 10 points each. Sophomore Baileigh O’Dell had a team-high 14 points for the Cardinals.
“We’re giving our young players valuable experience,” Harmony said. Hopefully, they can get some postseason experience next week. This will definitely help us for next season.”
Laurynn McGowen also had a double-double for Sam Houston State, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Bearkats shot 50 percent (27-of-54) from the field. The Bearkats outrebounded LU 44-37, holding a 24-13 edge over the final two quarters.
“Boxing out is desire, and we didn’t have enough of that tonight,” Harmony said. “But we will learn from this. We have another solid recruiting class coming in, and they will compete for jobs and push these players. If you don’t want to compete, we will sit you and play someone who will.”
The final seedings won’t be announced until after the regular season concludes Saturday evening.

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