Little bit rusty: Cardinals victorious after taking off 16 days

Published 11:03 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2016

BEAUMONT — Lamar coach Robin Harmony knew there would be some rust shown in her Cardinals’ game against Loyola University Chicago Thursday at the Montagne Center.

The Cardinals had not played since defeating Southwestern 87-41 on Dec. 4, a span of 16 days. The stretch between games was Lamar’s longest since the 1988-89 season.

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Lamar shook off the rust and defeated Loyola 76-50 behind a strong defense that forced 26 turnovers, 14 coming in the first period.

Sophomore Chastadie Barrs led the way with 13 points, six steals and six assists.

“There was definitely some rust there,” senior center Kiandra Bowers said after posting 10 points and 11 rebounds. It was her third double-double of the season. “I feel like the things we do in practice put us in position for games. All the adverse situations we see in practice will always keep us going and ready when we play out there.”

Harmony, who coached her 100th game at Lamar Tuesday, said her team was ready to play after over two weeks of practicing against each other.

“I think they were tired of playing against themselves,” Harmony said. “That was good to get that game in. Hopefully Thursday we will come out and be more consistent and have more energy.”

The Cardinals turn around and face Louisiana College at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Montagne Center. Louisiana College lost to Southland Conference’s Northwestern State Tuesday, 113-65. All fans who bring a new, unwrapped toy to the game will receive a free general admission ticket to the Dec. 29 hoops doubleheader (Howard Payne vs. Lamar women and Huston-Tillotson vs. Lamar men).

Lamar jumped out to a 24-11 lead after the first period against Loyola and then built a 34-19 lead at the break.

Barrs came out shooting the ball in the first period and had eight points in the game’s first 10 minutes.

“I just came out and had a burst of energy,” she said. “I know we start slow sometimes so I wanted to make sure that we came out fast.”

Loyola never led in the game and the Cardinals held the advantage for 39:22. The game was only tied for 38 seconds.

Lamar led by as many as 31 points (70-39) in the fourth period.

“We didn’t play our best at times, but it was nice to get the dust off and get a win,” Harmony said.

Kiara Desamours started out hot for Lamar and was 4-of-6 shooting for 10 points to go with four boards before leaving the game with an ankle injury.

Harmony said Desamours was fine and was being held out the rest of the game so that a minor injury did not turn into a major one.

Lamar junior Baileigh O’Dell entered the game as the leader in the nation for three-point shooting percentage. She finished with 13 points and was 3 of 5 from behind the line.

Katie Salmon was the only Ramblers player in double figures with 10 points.

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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