Cards set school record with 11th straight win
The Lamar University Cardinals ran their winning streak to a school-record 11 games and extended their record winning streak at the Montagne Center to 27 games with a hard-fought 65-59 victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders in a Southland Conference women's basketball game Saturday.
The Cardinals (19-6 overall, 14-1 Southland) maintained their half-game lead over Stephen F. Austin in the battle for first place in the conference. The win also guaranteed LU a first-round bye in next month's Southland Conference Tournament in Katy, Texas. The top four teams in the standings receive a first-round bye, while the first- and second-place teams receive automatic byes into the semifinals.
LU overcame sloppiness, poor shooting and foul trouble to put away the pesky Islanders (15-10, 8-6). The Cardinals committed 24 turnovers, shot just 37.1 percent (26-of-70) from the field, 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from 3-point range and 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the free-throw line to improve to 15-9 all-time against the Islanders.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi led by as many as nine points in the first quarter, LU's largest deficit at home this season. The Islanders led 15-10 after the first quarter before LU bounced back to take a 24-23 lead at halftime.
"We knew they were going to come at us strong," LU coach Robin Harmony said of the Islanders. "They played with much more intensity than we did.
"We weren't sharp, we made too many turnovers. We beat their press and then we made some bad decisions."
LU led 43-36 after three quarters, and by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but could never pull away from the Islanders.
Chastadie Barrs led LU with 18 points, seven assists and eight steals. Moe Kinard had 13 points, while Kiandra Bowers had six points and a game-high 13 rebounds. As a team, LU had 21 steals, as the Islanders finished the game with 29 turnovers. LU also had a 44-33 rebounding advantage over the Islanders, who entered the game leading the Southland Conference with a rebounding margin of 5.3 per game.
"I didn't have my best game offensively, but I don't let that affect my rebounding," said Bowers, who averages a conference-best 11.3 rebounds per game in SLC play. "It's something I take pride in."
Emma Young and Dalesia Booth had double-doubles for the Islanders. Young had 16 points and 10 boards, while Booth finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Baileigh O'Dell and DeA'ngela Mathis each had nine points for LU, while Ashlan Miles added six points and four steals off the bench.
The Cardinals conclude the home portion of their regular-season schedule when they host Houston Baptist on Senior Night at 7 p.m. Wednesday. After that, the Cardinals wrap up the regular season with a pair of road games. LU is at SFA on Feb. 24 in what looms to be a showdown for first place in the conference. LU is at McNeese on March 3. The conference tournament runs from March 8-11. A first-round bye means the Cards won't play on the first day.