LU Lady Cards hammer Huskies
BEAUMONT, Texas – Valentines may be all around, but the Lamar Lady Cardinals continue to show no love for non-conference opponents coming into the Montagne Center.
The Lady Cardinals ran their non-conference home winning streak to 38 games with a convincing 76-55 victory over Houston Baptist on Wednesday evening as they improved to 17-6 on the season.
Lamar never trailed in the game, rolling out to a 22-5 lead less than eight minutes into the game and never looking back.
“We seemed to be hitting everything early,” Lamar coach Larry Tidwell said. “We cooled off a little bit, but I was very happy with the way we played tonight.”
Kalis Loyd led Lamar with 20 points and a game-high six assists. Dominique Edwards had 15 points and nine rebounds, while Alice Robinson had eight points and 11 rebounds.
The Lady Cardinals carried a 36-26 lead into intermission despite being outrebounded 22-17. That changed in the second half as Lamar outrebounded the Huskies 24-12 over the final 20 minutes.
“It came down to effort,” Tidwell said. “We just wanted it more. I swear it looked like Dominique was above the rim on some of those rebounds.”
The Lady Cardinals, who were 36th in the nation in scoring defense at 54.0 points per game, held an opponent to less than 60 points for the 15th time this season. Lamar is 14-1 in those games.
“We take pride in our defense,” Edwards said. “That’s something we work very hard at.”
Lamar led by as many as 29 points when Robinson’s layup made it 64-35 with 9:29 remaining. Houston Baptist (4-19) never got any closer than 20 points the rest of the way.
Carenn Baylor had seven points and a career-high seven steals for Lamar, as the Lady Cardinals forced 25 turnovers.
“It all starts with ball pressure,” Loyd said of Lamar’s defense. “It creates turnovers and doesn’t leave them with good shots.”
Shannice Steenholdt had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Houston Baptist. Tayler Jefferson added 13 points for the Huskies, who will join Lamar in the Southland Conference next season.
The Lady Cardinals, who have won five in a row, return to action at 4 p.m. Saturday when they host McNeese State in a Southland Conference game.
“That’s big game for us,” Tidwell said. “It’s going to be reunion weekend and we’re playing our archrival. We’ll definitely be ready. We were able to play everybody tonight, so we will be fresh for Saturday.”
Saturday’s game is the first of two hoops games in the Montagne Center that day. The Lamar men take on McNeese State in the 6:30 p.m. nightcap. For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715, or visit http://www.lamarcardinals.com/tickets/whoops-tickets.html.
Both of Saturday’s games will be broadcast on KLVI (AM 560) and simulcast on www.LamarCardinals.com.
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 11:23 AM CDT