Feb. 2, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas – Kalis Loyd and the Lamar Lady Cardinals started slow, but they certainly finished with a flourish.
Loyd, who had just one point in the first half, finished with a game-high 19 points as Lamar rallied for a 61-55 overtime decision over visiting Stephen F. Austin in a Southland Conference women’s basketball game Saturday. Lamar (14-6 overall, 7-3 Southland) claimed the victory after being down by 10 points with 6:24 remaining in regulation.
“You can have a game plan, but it’s how you react when you’re hit in the mouth,” Lamar coach Larry Tidwell said. “We got hit in the mouth with about six minutes left when we were down by 10. We could either play to win or fold, and we came back and won. I’m very proud of them.”
Neither team could generate much offense in the first half. The Lady Cardinals took a 16-15 lead into the locker room when Jasmin Henderson hit a jumper with five seconds remaining in the half.
Loyd, who had three fouls in the first half, picked up her fourth foul with 16:57 remaining in the second half. She came back into the game with 12:49 remaining in regulation.
“I knew I couldn’t make any risky plays,” Loyd said. “I just had to play my game and maintain confidence in my shot.”
With Loyd struggling to find her offense, it was up to her teammates to pick up the slack. Carenn Baylor finished with 14 points, while Dominique Edwards added nine points. But it was the Lamar defense that was the story.
The Lady Cardinals forced Stephen F. Austin (9-12, 4-6) into 33 turnovers, and held the Ladyjacks to just 33.3 percent shooting (16-of-48).
“I think our defense stepped it up,” Tidwell said. “That was crucial.”
Fitting it was the defense that came up with the plays to send it into overtime. Baylor stole the ball and scored on a layup with 12 seconds remaining in the second half to tie it at 50.
In overtime, Asia Booker hit a free throw to give the Lady Cardinals a 61-55 lead with seven seconds remaining and then stole the inbounds pass to seal the win.
Lamar trailed 53-52 with 4:04 remaining in OT before going on a 7-0 run that started with a Loyd layup and ended with four straight points from Baylor.
Porsha Roberts led SFA with 16 points, while Brittney Matthew added 14 points off the bench.
With the win, Lamar remains tied for second place in the conference with Oral Roberts, a game and a half behind Sam Houston State and a half-game ahead of McNeese State, which hosts Northwestern State on Sunday.
The Lady Cardinals hit the road for two games, taking on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 5 p.m. Thursday and Sam Houston State at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 9.