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Defense key in Lamar women’s 65-49 victory

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – What a difference a few days make.

Coming off a disappointing loss at Nicholls State on Saturday, the Lamar Cardinals turned in one of their best defensive efforts of the season in a 65-49 win over the visiting Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders in a Southland Conference women’s basketball game at the Montagne Center on Wednesday evening.

The Cardinals (13-5 overall, 6-2 Southland) improved to 10-0 at home this season, and more importantly, moved to within a half-game of league-leading Stephen F. Austin, which fell at home to Central Arkansas.

Moe Kinard led the Cardinals with 21 points, one of three LU players to finish in double figures on the evening. Kiara Desamours had 13 points in the win, while Kiandra Bowers added 11 points.

But it was the defense that LU coach Robin Harmony wanted to talk about, which is understandable after seeing her team 29 fewer points than it did to Nicholls.

“I was very pleased with our defense,” Harmony said. “We weren’t getting beat inside like we have been.”

LU held the Islanders to 36.4 percent shooting (16-of-44), including just 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from three-point range. The Cardinals also had 14 steals as the Islanders finished with 23 turnovers.

“The pride of our team is defense, and it showed tonight,” Desamours said.

LU led 22-15 after one quarter and 40-23 at halftime. The Islanders (7-12, 3-5) got to within seven points at 52-45 with 7:17 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals sealed the win b going on a 9-0 run over the next 4:40.

LU sophomore guard Chastadie Barrs finished with eight assists, seven steals and seven rebounds in another solid effort. Barrs’ eight assists pushed her career total to 237, tied with Viboonluk Kributr for seventh on LU’s all-time list. Barrs, who has at least one steal in all 49 games in her career, moved past Jenna Plumley for third place on LU’s career steals list with 204.

LU’s win also spoiled the night for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi coach Royce Chadwick, who was coaching his 1,000th career game. Chadwick is now 615-385 in his career.

Brittany Mbamalu was the only Islander to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with 11 points.

 

UP NEXT

The Cardinals host Northwestern State at 2 p.m. Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader at the Montagne Center. The LU men face Northwestern State at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday’s game will be the 400th game for the LU women at the Montagne Center. The Cardinals are 250-149 in the Montagne since their first game in the venue, a 63-50 win over Nicholls on Jan. 14, 1985.

 

ON THE AIR

Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on KLVI-AM 560 and streamed live on ESPN3.com.