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Lamar seeking 8th straight win

Lamar sports information
BEAUMONT — The Lamar women’s basketball team looks to match the second-longest winning streak in program history when it hosts the New Orleans Privateers in a Southland Conference game at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Montagne Center.

Thursday’s contest is the opener of a three-game homestand for the Cardinals, who host Southeastern Louisiana at 2 p.m. Saturday and Incarnate Word at 7 p.m. Jan. 12.

The Cardinals (8-3 overall, 1-0 Southland) enter the game having won seven straight contests. LU has won eight consecutive games on three occasions, most recently from Feb. 5-March 2, 2011. The program record is 14 straight wins, achieved in the 1990-91 season. The Cardinals went 5-0 in December for their first undefeated month since February 1991.

LU opened Southland Conference play with an impressive 70-56 win at defending tournament champion Central Arkansas on Saturday, behind 25 points from Moe Kinard and 16 points from Chastadie Barrs.

“That was a great way to start our Southland schedule,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “But it’s just one game. Now we have to take care of business at home.”

Harmony likes to stress defending the nest in referring to games at the Montagne Center, and the Cardinals have done a great job of that thus far. LU is 6-0 at home this season, outscoring its opponents by an average of 34.8 points per game.

“We take pride in playing at home,” said LU senior post player Kiandra Bowers, who leads the nation in offensive rebounding at 5.91 per game. “We get great support from our fans, and we feed off their energy.”

Kinard leads the Cardinals in scoring at 15.6 points per game. Bowers is averaging 12.5 points per game and is second in the conference in rebounding at 9.5 boards per contest.

As a team. LU leads the nation in turnover margin at plus 9.82 per game. The Cardinals are also first in steals per game at 14.2, while ranking second in turnovers forced at 24.91 per game.

Barrs is a big reason for that. The sophomore guard ranks second in the nation in steals per game at 4.91. Barrs, who has at least one steal in all 42 games of her collegiate career, is tied for sixth on LU’s all-time steals chart with 177.

New Orleans (6-6, 1-1) is led by junior guard Randi Brown, who tops the Southland Conference in scoring at 21.4 points per game, which puts her 10th in the nation. Shania Woods averages 8.2 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game for the Privateers, who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end with a 68-55 loss at defending regular-season champion Abilene Christian on Tuesday.

Thursday’s game is the opening contest of a hoops doubleheader, with the LU men facing New Orleans in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. Following the women’s game, the LU freshmen players will sign autographs. Both of Thursday’s game will be streamed live on ESPN3.

For tickets, call 880-1715, or visit www.LamarCardinals.com.