The Lady Cardinal basketball team defeated the Cowgirls of McNeese State University, 79-57, Saturday, in the Montagne Center. by 22 points. The win took Lamar’s Southland Conference record to 9-2, 16-5 overall.
Senior center Kiandra Bowers hit her 12th double-double and scored her career high with 30 points to add to her 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Moe Kinard totaled 13 points with three treys.
“I think we played good team basketball,” head coach Robin Harmony said. “With (Bowers) rebounding and her post presence, we just played together as a unit. We defended, we made them turn the ball over and we never backed down.”
The good crowd cheered the Lady Cardinals in the first game of a doubleheader with the men’s team. The Lady Cardinals built a 13-point lead in the first quarter by outscoring the Cowgirls 20-7. McNeese outscored Lamar by three in the second quarter, making the half-time score Lamar 38, McNeese 28.
After the referees called an out-of-bounds off Lamar, causing the crowd to boo the officials, Ashlan Miles hustled down the court and blocked a McNeese player’s shot, turning the boos to loud cheers. By the end of the quarter, the Lady Cardinals had a 21-point lead, 63-42.
“We forced a lot of turnovers,” Bowers said. “We played pretty good defense and we were aggressive. (In practice) we just came in every day focused.”
Harmony said the team knew everything that McNeese was going to run on them.
“We knew their player profiles, there was nothing that surprised us,” she said. “That means our staff did a good job preparing for this game.”
Sophomore point guard Chastadie Barrs contributed five steals, five rebounds, six assists and nine points.
Barrs is ranked first in the Division I NCAA women’s basketball in steals, with a total of 95 steals for the season.
Lamar will next play Sam Houston State, today, in the Montagne Center. The Lady Cardinals defeated the Lady Bearkats by 26 points in January. Tip off is 5:30 p.m. The team will face Stephen F. Austin, Saturday, in Nacogdoches.
“We’re not going to overlook Sam by any means, but were still going to look at some of S.F.A’s plays,” Harmony said.