WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Leading Jacks, 2nd-place Cards on hot streaks

Published 4:59 pm Friday, February 2, 2018

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — The Lamar Cardinals host the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks in a battle for first place in Southland Conference women’s basketball at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Montagne Center.

It’s the first game of a hoops doubleheader at the Montagne Center. The men’s game between SFA and LU is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

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LU (14-6 overall, 9-1 Southland) enters the day a half-game behind SFA (17-3, 9-0) in the SLC standings. Both teams enter the game on hot streaks; LU has won six straight games and nine of its last 10, while SFA is on an 11-game winning streak.

The Cardinals are 9-0 at home this season, and have won 24 straight contests at the Montagne Center dating back to the start of last season. SFA is 4-3 on the road this season, but 4-0 in conference contests.

“Our kids know this is an important game, and they know what’s at stake,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “We have to come out and play our game. We have to play for 40 minutes. Hopefully, we’ll have a big crowd here and get good support.”

Both teams have been lighting up the scoreboard this winter. LU averages a conference-leading 79.4 points per game, while SFA averages 74.9 points per outing. Moe Kinard leads the Cardinals in scoring, averaging 16.8 ppg overall and 18.1 ppg in conference play. Junior guard Chastadie Barrs averages 13.3 ppg while leading the nation with 132 steals and the Southland Conference with 131 assists. Barrs has at least one steal in all 81 games of her career. She already owns the Southland Conference career record with 397 steals.

Kiandra Bowers has been a force in both points and rebounds for LU. Over the past four games, Bowers is averaging 16.3 points and 14.8 rebounds per game. Bowers comes in off a 30-point, 16-rebound performance in Wednesday’s 77-71 win over Abilene Christian.

“Wednesday was a good lesson for us; we didn’t play our best basketball and still found a way to win,” Harmony said. “We kept our composure and didn’t quit. We found a way to get the W.”

Stephen F. Austin is led by senior Stevi Parker, who has team-best averages of 12.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Taylor Jackson is averaging 13.7 points per game in SLC action for the Ladyjacks.

“Against a good team, we have to have the five starters and everyone on the bench firing on all cylinders,” Harmony said. “We can’t afford to have two or three kids not show up.”

SFA has a 55-14 advantage in the all-time series. The Ladyjacks have won the last three meetings, including a 62-48 victory in the semifinals of last season’s Southland Conference Tournament.



Both games of Saturday’s twin bill will be broadcast on KLVI-AM 560 and streamed on ESPN3.



LU will honor three former greats at halftime of Saturday’s game, as Carolyn Ford, Kalis Loyd and Carol Sims will have their jerseys retired during a banner-raising ceremony. All three will be on hand for the event.



Fans attending Saturday’s basketball doubleheader will receive a free pair of LU socks, while supplies last, courtesy of Mobiloil Credit Union.  There will also be a student-organization challenge, with a $250 cash prize being awarded based on spirit, creativity and attendance.



The Cardinals conclude their four-game homestand when they host Northwestern State at 7 p.m. Wednesday.