Cardinals hold off Javelinas, 82-66

BEAUMONT — It was far from pretty but the Lamar Cardinals got the win in women’s basketball Thursday night.

Lamar led big at the break (46-27) and then got sloppy in the third period before holding on for an 82-66 victory over Texas A&M Kingsville in nonconference play at the Montagne Center.

JaMeisha Edwards poured in 31 points for Lamar (3-6) and knocked down five treys.

Her senior leadership was pivotal in a second half that saw the lead cut down to single digits.

“When we were struggling in the third, she kind of took over,” Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. “I told her, ‘You know what to do.’ She started getting vocal and put shots down. She ran the point in the third. You have to take over as that senior.”

Edwards said she knows when the time comes, it is up to her to guide her teammates to victory.

“I know I am the oldest person on the court,” Edwards said. “I have to talk and get us up. Offense is contagious, so I have to hit my shots. Hopefully that relays over to everyone else.”

Edwards finished 11 for 22 from the field and 5 for 10 from behind the arc.

Lamar was 21 for 56 from the field, for 37.5 percent.

Kingsville (5-6) turned the ball over 28 times to Lamar. Cardinals freshman guard Chastadie Barrs had six steals. She came into the game ranking second in the nation in steals at 4.0 per game.

She struggled handling the ball though and had six turnovers of her own to go with seven assists and six points.

Post Laka Blache had her first career double-double with a career-high 17 points to go with 10 rebounds.

“Laka finally looked like a Division 1 post player,” Harmony said. “We are getting her confidence. She didn’t take bad shots and had her composure. That is what we will need down the stretch to win games.”

The Cardinals scored the game’s first six points and were able to build a 24-8 advantage heading into the second quarter.

Kingsville had 19 turnovers in the first half and Lamar was able to jump out to the 46-27 lead.

Then, the third quarter happened for Lamar.

The Cardinals had six turnovers, six fouls and 14 missed shots in the frame.

The Javelinas were able to cut the lead to 60-54 heading into the fourth.

“I think we played pretty good basketball for three quarters,” Harmony said. “We came out after half in the third quarter and started out slow and gave them the confidence to think they could hang with us.

“The good part was we didn’t fold. We are a team that lacks confidence. We decided we would not get beat on our own court.”

Lamar outscored Kingsville 22-12 in the fourth.

The Cardinals return to action at 2 p.m. Sunday in Columbia, Missouri, to take on the Missouri Tigers.

**CORRECTION: A previous version incorrectly stated Missouri’s conference affiliation. Missouri competes in the Southeastern Conference.**

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