Feb. 9, 2013
HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Gia Ayers picked up her first double-double of the season on Saturday afternoon and Carenn Baylor added a career-high 17 points to lead the Lamar women's basketball team to a 52-48 victory over Southland Conference-leading Sam Houston State at Johnson Coliseum.
"This was a very good win for us on the road over a very good team," head coach Larry Tidwell said. "But Sam Houston is still leading the league, and we're still chasing them. I'm very appreciative of how hard my players played, and it was a really good game."
Ayers was most effective late, tallying nine points and four boards over the game's final eight minutes, finishing with a career-high 17 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three steals.
With the win, the Lady Cardinals improve to 16-6 this season with a 9-3 mark in conference play, and they're now within a half game of SHSU (13-10, 9-2) with six SLC meetings left to play.
After spotting the Bearkats the first two points of the game, the Lady Cards rode a strong first half performance from Baylor that culminated with a three from the right wing with 14 seconds left to give LU a 28-20 lead at intermission.
Baylor had 11 points in the opening stanza to lead all scorers.
However, the eight-point cushion was short-lived as the Bearkats came out of the half with six straight to cut the deficit to two within the first four minutes. Baylor had the answer again, however, ending the run with a hard drive through the lane and knocking down a pair of free throws to give LU a four-point advantage once more.
From there on out it became The Ayers Show. The Bryan native answered a Britni Martin basket with a contested lay-up, and was fouled on another drive through the lane, sinking one and giving the Cards a two-possession edge once again at 34-30 with 9:52 remaining.
Following a Dominique Edwards
drive-and-score, Ayers dropped in a floater and Baylor nailed a three from the right corner to give LU a nine-point lead with 6:54 left .
Both Edwards and Kalis Loyd would finish the game with five points, but made their mark elsewhere with Loyd grabbing 10 boards and handing out five assists. Edwards had nine rebounds, including five of the offensive variety, and four helpers.
Martin answered with a three on the ensuing possession, but Asia Booker found herself open in the right corner with the shot clock winding down and came up big with another three-pointer. Ayers forced a turnover immediately thereafter, and a layup put the Lady Cards up 46-35 with 5:44 left.
Another Ayers highlight came just moments later, grabbing an offensive board and sinking a three from the top of the key to extend the LU lead to 12, the largest of the game, at 49-37 with 4:06 left to play.
Propelled by seven points from Shaqueena Thomas and Martin down the stretch, the Bearkats went on an 11-3 run, but ultimately it was too little, too late for SHSU.
Thomas ended with 16 points and Martin had 15, but the Lady Cards held the Bearkats to 33.3% shooting from the field, including an anemic 3-for-23 mark from the outside.
Lamar will return to action on Wednesday when they play host to future Southland foe Houston Baptist at the Montagne Center on Tuesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.