Cardinal women finish unbeaten at home
Lamar sports information
BEAUMONT – The Lamar Cardinals wrapped up a perfect season at home with an 81-77 win over the Nicholls State Colonels in a Southland Conference women’s basketball game Wednesday night at the Montagne Center.
The Cardinals (21-6 overall, 14-3 Southland) were a perfect 15-0 on their home court this season, completing the first perfect season at home since the 2009-10 season, a campaign that saw the Cardinals win the Southland Conference Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
LU never trailed Wednesday, but had trouble shaking the pesky Colonels (9-19, 6-11), who trailed by as many as 18 points in the second quarter before cutting the LU lead to three points in the final minute.
LU had four players score in double figures, led by Chastadie Barrs, who had her second straight double-double, finishing with season highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Barrs went 7-of-10 from the free-throw line in the final period as the Colonels fouled to get back into the game. Barrs also had eight assists and six steals on the evening.
Kiara Desamours had 17 points for LU, Ashlan Miles had 16 points, while Moe Kinard added 14 points for the Cardinals, who are one game back of conference co-leaders Abilene Christian and Central Arkansas with one game to play. Kiandra Bowers had eight points and 12 rebounds for the Cardinals, who outrebounded the Colonels 50-29.
The Cardinals led 25-13 after one quarter and scored the first six points of the second period to lead 31-13 before Nicholls cut the LU lead to 42-34 at intermission, capping the first half with a three-pointer by Tykeria Williams in the dying seconds of the period.
LU led 61-52 heading into the final quarter, and 69-59 with 5:15 remaining before Nicholls went on an 11-4 run to cut LU’s lead to 73-70 with 1:58 left. Barrs would go 4-for-6 from the line over the final 2 minutes as the Cardinals reduced their magic number to 1 for clinching one of the top two seeds in the conference tournament and an automatic berth in the semifinals.
A win by the Cardinals Saturday at McNeese State, or a loss by Stephen F. Austin in either of its two remaining home games (today vs. Northwestern State, Saturday vs. Sam Houston State) locks up one of the top two berths in the tourney. The Cardinals could still earn the top seed with a win at McNeese on Saturday coupled with a Central Arkansas loss at Northwestern State on Saturday. The top seeded would then be decided by the conference’s tie-breaking scenarios, which may not be settled until Saturday’s conference games conclude.
LU dominated the inside against the much-smaller Colonels, outscoring Nicholls 48-14 in the paint. The Colonels stayed in the game thanks to long-range shooting going 12-of-30 (440 percent) from three-point range.
The Colonels had five players score in double figures, led by Hope Pawlowski, who had 18 points before fouling out. Cassidy Barrios had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Colonels, who secured a berth in the Southland Conference Tournament despite the loss as Houston Baptist was eliminated from contention with a road loss at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Cardinals held a pregame ceremony to pay tribute to their two seniors, Bowers and Teleshia Riley, who were playing their final regular-season game in the Montagne Center.
LU closes the regular season when it travels to Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles, La., for a showdown with archrival McNeese at 1 p.m. Saturday. That game will air on KLVIU (AM 560).
WOMAN OF STEAL
With her six steals Thursday, Barrs now has 128 steals, just four shy of the school record of 132 set by Ramona Jones in the 1990-91 season.
Thursday was the 300th game in the coaching career of LU’s Robin Harmony. She is 201-99 (.670) in her career, which includes stints at Miami and St. Thomas (Fla.). Harmony is 68-51 all-time at LU.