First-round bye at stake today for Lamar women

Published 1:41 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lamar sports information

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Lamar Cardinals can secure a bye in the first round of the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament with a win over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders at the American Bank Center at 2 p.m. today.

The Cardinals (18-6 overall, 11-3 Southland) have already clinched a berth into next month’s tourney at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy. Now they’re looking for a first-round bye, and quite possibly, a bye into the semifinals should they wrap up one of the top two seeds.

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Today’s contest against the Islanders will be the second meeting between the teams this season. LU came away with a 65-49 win at the Montagne Center on Jan. 25 behind 21 points from Moe Kinard.

The Cardinals are 5-6 on the road this season, including a 4-3 mark in conference play. Today’s contest ends a three-game road swing for the Cards, who rolled to an 81-53 win at Houston Baptist on Wednesday night.

LU senior post Kiandra Bowers looks to continue her hot play for the Cardinals. Bowers has six straight double-doubles, averaging 20.2 points and 12.3 rebounds over that span. She had a career-high 32 points in Wednesday’s win over Houston Baptist. Bowers has 15 double-doubles this season, putting her eighth in the nation.

Bowers continues to lead the nation in offensive rebounding, averaging 6.0 per game. Meanwhile sophomore guard Chastadie Barrs leads the nation in steals at 4.67 per game. Barrs has at least one steal in all 55 games of her career.

As a team, LU leads the nation in turnover margin (plus 9.29) turnovers forced per game (24.46) and steals per game (14.3).

The Islanders (9-15, 5-8) enter today tied with Nicholls for the final two berths in the conference tourney. Those teams hold a two-game lead over Houston Baptist with five games remaining.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi features a balanced scoring attack, led by Brittany Mbamalu, who averages 8.9 points per game.

The Islanders look to bounce back from a 63-56 loss at UIW on Wednesday.


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


LU leads the all-time series 12-9. One of the biggest wins in LU history was an 86-59 victory over the Islanders in the championship game of the 2010 Southland Conference Tournament.


The Cardinals have just three games remaining on the regular-season schedule. LU hosts Houston Baptist at 2 p.m. Feb. 25 and Nicholls State at 7 p.m. March 1 before wrapping up the regular season March 4 at McNeese State.