LU women play No. 400 at Montagne

Published 9:40 pm Friday, January 27, 2017

BEAUMONT — The Lamar women’s basketball team plays its 400th home game in the Montagne Center when it hosts Northwestern State at 2 p.m. Saturday in a Southland Conference clash.

The Cardinals are 250-149 all-time at the Montagne, dating back to Jan. 14, 1985, when LU posted a 63-60 win over Nicholls. This season, the Cardinals are a perfect 10-0 at home, outscoring their opponents by an average of 30.3 points per game.

LU (13-5, 6-2 Southland) heads into Saturday’s game just a half-game behind conference co-leaders Stephen F. Austin and Abilene Christian, who are both 6-1 in SLC play. LU is tied for third place with Central Arkansas.

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LU comes off a 65-49 home victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday, in what LU coach Robin Harmony described as one of the best defensive efforts by her team this season.

The LU defense continues to remain tops in the nation when it comes to creating turnovers. LU forces opponents into an average of 25.44 turnovers per game. The Cardinals also rank first in steals per game at 14.3 and in turnover margin at plus 9.78. As a result, the Cardinals dominate in points off turnovers, averaging 26.7 points per game, while the opponents score 14.6 points per game off LU turnovers.

LU sophomore guard Chastadie Barrs continues to lead the nation in steals per game with an average of 4.5 per outing. Barrs has at least one steal in all 49 games in her career. Her 204 career styles already rank third all-time at LU.

Senior post player Kiandra Bowers also ranks among the nation’s best when pilfering the ball from opponents, ranking 28th with an average of 2.89 steals per game.

Bowers has been a dominant force on the offensive boards, pulling down 5.78 offensive rebounds per game to lead the nation. Bowers is 28th in the nation in rebounding at 10.1 per game. Bowers is also adept at putting the ball in the basket, ranking 13th nationally by connecting on 61 percent of her shots from the field.

As a team, the Cardinals are third in the nation in offensive rebounding at 19 per game. LU is averaging 14.4 points per game on second-chance points, while the Cardinals’ opponents score 10.6 second-chance points per game.

LU averages 73.6 points per game on offense to rank 46th in the nation. Many of those points come thanks to Barrs, who averages 6.4 assists per game, good for 18th in the country.

Moe Kinard, who had 21 points in Wednesday’s win, leads LU in scoring at 16.4 points per game. Bowers is second on the team in scoring at 13.7 points per game.

Northwestern State (9-10, 3-5) is led by Beatrice Attura, who is second in the conference in scoring at 18.9 points per game.

The Lady Demons are just 1-8 on the road this season, with their only win away from home a 76-74 decision at UIW on Jan. 5.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on KLVI-AM 560 and streamed on ESPN3. The contest is the first game of a doubleheader, with the LU men squaring off against Northwestern State at 4:30 p.m.