Lamar women frustrated after third straight loss

BEAUMONT — Baileigh O’Dell was in no mood Saturday afternoon to celebrate the fact she had just set a season-high point total.
The Lamar Cardinals women’s basketball team had just lost its third Southland Conference game in a row, and this one against the Northwestern State Lady Demons was not close.
Northwestern sent Lamar to a 2-4 SLC record with a 72-51 victory at the Montagne Center.
O’Dell scored 12 points in the loss, and the big talk after the game was all about the poor play from Lamar (6-11) and the team’s poor shooting.
“I am very angry,” O’Dell said. “We are not satisfied with the way we have been playing. It is unacceptable at this level. We were preseason No. 1 and we are not showing it. We are all dissatisfied with the way we are playing.
“We can’t stop. There are no days off. We knew what we signed up for in Division I basketball and we have to come in every day and work to get better.
Lamar made only 13 of 48 shots (27.1 percent) against Northwestern State (11-6, 5-1).
The Cardinals went the entire third quarter without making a basketball and was outscored 21-8 immediately following halftime. All eight points came from the free throw line.
Lamar trailed 24-6 after the first period and ended the second on a 12-2 run to close to within 33-21 heading into the break.
That is when the wheels fell completely off the Lamar bus. The Lady Demons opened the third on a 17-2 run, led by Janelle Perez who scored five of her game-high 21 points in the stretch.
“Perez is the best player in the conference,” Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. “She certainly played that way today. She didn’t turn the ball over and found any weaknesses we had in our defense.”
Perez finished 6 of 8 from the field, including 4 of 5 from behind the arc. Northwestern State as a team shot 50 percent. The Lady Demons knocked down 9 of 18 three-point attempts. Lamar finished 6 of 17.
“It is frustrating,” Kiara Desamours said. “We can’t win games if we don’t score points. It was just frustrating all game. We were playing catch up all game and we couldn’t do it.”
Desamours scored a Lamar-high 14 points and teammate Chastadie Barrs added 11 points.
Addesha Collins entered the game first in scoring in SLC play, averaging 21.6 points per game.
Collins was 1-of-9 shooting against Northwestern and finished with three points.
Lamar played its second straight game without one of its all-time best players in guard JaMeisha Edwards. She missed Saturday’s contest with a concussion.
Edwards’ absence, though, was not the reason for the loss. O’Dell blamed all of it on the lack of effort the Cardinals showed a majority of the game.
“We haven’t figured out how to play the entire 40 minutes,” O’Dell said. “Coach stresses it every game and every practice. We have to get better at it. Period and point blank.”
Both Desamours and O’Dell were visibly upset, and at one point Harmony herself even got choked up when answering postgame questions.
“They [players] have to take ownership,” Harmony said. “It is about time.”
Lamar returns to SLC play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Stephen F. Austin. The Cardinals are 0-9 on the road this season.
“It’s not time to panic,” Harmony added. “We have to go to SFA and get that elusive road win and then come home for two and try to win those.
Thursday’s game at SFA can be seen on ESPN3.

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