March 1, 2014
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CONWAY, Ark. - Lamar coach Robin Harmony calls her team the "Cardiac Cardinals." A perfect example of that was on display Saturday as Lamar staged a last-minute rally to pull out a 56-53 win over host Central Arkansas in a Southland Conference women's basketball game.
Lamar (16-11 overall, 11-5 Southland) closed out the game on a 9-0 run over the final 2:26 to clinch a berth in the Southland Conference Tournament later this month. JaMeisha Edwards scored the final five points of the game. Edwards tied the game at 53 on a jumper with 1:32 remaining. She then gave Lamar the lead for good when she drained another jumper with 45 seconds left before sealing it with a free throw with 9.1 seconds remaining on the clock.
"We picked up our full-court pressure and hit our shots down the stretch,"
Gia Ayers led Lamar with 23 points to go along with nine rebounds. JaMeisha Edwards had 12 points, while Dominique Edwards finished with seven points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
With the win, Lamar remained tied with Stephen F. Austin for second place in the conference, one game behind Central Arkansas (18-9, 12-4) with two games remaining.
The Lady Cardinals won despite shooting just 31.4 percent (16-of-51) from the field, and 58.1 percent (18-of-31) from the foul line. The Lady Cardinals outrebounded the Sugar Bears 46-38, just the fifth time this season Lamar outrebounded its foe. The Lady Cardinals are 4-1 in those games.
Lamar led 11-3 less than three minutes into the game, but saw Central Arkansas battle back to take a 25-24 lead at intermission. The Sugar Bears led 47-39 with 8:35 remaining before the Lady Cardinals staged their comeback.
Courtney Duever led Central Arkansas with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Brittany Agee added 10 points for the Sugar Bears.
Lamar closes the regular season with a pair of Southland Conference home games next week. The Lady Cardinals host New Orleans at 5:30 p.m. Thursday before hosting Southeastern Louisiana at 4 p.m. March 8 on Senior Day.
The Lady Cardinals are still alive for the top seed in the conference tournament. The race could come down to the final day of the regular season, as Central Arkansas is at Stephen F. Austin on March 8.
"We just have to protect the nest," Harmony said. "We have to take care of business at home."
For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715, or visit www.LamarCardinals.com.