Lamar Women's Basketball tops SFA to advance to SLC semifinals
KATY, Texas – Dominique Edwards wasn’t going to let victory elude the Lamar Lady Cardinals.
Edwards scored eight consecutive points in the span of 101 seconds to snap a 55-55 tie and lead third-seeded Lamar to a 69-65 win over seventh-seeded Stephen F. Austin in the second round of the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday. Lamar faces Sam Houston State at 1:#0 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
“I knew we had to take it up a notch,” said Edwards, who finished 19 points and a game-high nine rebounds. It felt good to contribute.”
Edwards gave Lamar (21-9) the lead for good when she drained a 3-pointer to put the Lady Cardinals up 58-55 with 3:25 remaining. After Lamar got a stop defensively, Edwards connected on another 3-pointer with 2:33 remaining to make it 61-55. But she wasn’t through. She followed that with a defensive rebound, and after a missed jumper by Gia Ayers, put home the rebound to give LU a 63-55 lead with 1:44 remaining.
“I thought that was the game-winning basket,” Lamar coach Larry Tidwell said of Edwards’ putback. “That put us up by eight and made it a three-possession game.”
Kalis Loyd led Lamar with 22 points. Loyd left the game for four minutes after becoming the victim of a hard foul, but returned to play the final 8:25. Loyd had 15 points in the first half to help the Lady Cardinals take a 40-37 lead into intermission.
“I’ll be good to go Friday,” Loyd said of Lamar’s upcoming game against Sam Houston State. “It was great to see others step up. We handle adversity really well. We had the right people stepping up at the right time.”
Lamar outscored SFA 33-8 in points off turnovers, as the Lady Jacks (14-17) turned the ball over 24 times as compared to just nine for Lamar. Loyd had four steals for the Lady Cardinals, while Ayer added three steals.
“It all starts with our ball-pressure defense,” Tidwell said. “I thought we did a very good job of that today.”
Tierany Henderson, Porsha Roberts and Ashlee Mells had 10 points apiece for Stephen F. Austin. Ayers and Carenn Baylor added seven points apiece for Lamar, with Ayers adding four assists.
Lamar faces Sam Houston State at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The teams split the regular-season series, with the road team winning each time.
“We’re going to have to be ready from the start,” Tidwell said of Friday’s game. “We’re going to have to finish better at the free-throw line (Lamar was 21-pf-32, 65.6 percent Thursday). We know it’s going to be a tough game.”
In Thursday’s other second-round game, fifth-seeded McNeese State claimed an 86-70 win over fourth-seeded Nicholls. McNeese State faces top-seeded Oral Roberts at 11 a.m. Friday.
The championship game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.
All of Lamar’s games will air live on KLVI (AM 560) and be simulcast on www.Lamar.Cardinals.com. Live video for the semifinals and finals is available exclusively on ESPN3.
Thursday, March 14 2013, 06:52 PM CDT