March 6, 2008
THIBODAUX, La. -
The Lamar University women's basketball wrapped up the Southland Conference Eastern Division Championship Thursday night with a 72-63 win over the Nicholls State Lady Colonels at Stopher Gym in Thibodaux La.
The Lady Cardinals improve their record to 16-12 overall and 9-6 in SLC play. The win guarantees Lamar a winning season for the first time since the 1991-1992 season when LU posted a 21-7 overall record. The loss drops Nicholls to 6-20 overall and 4-11 in conference action.
Leading by four at halftime at 41-37, the Lady Cardinals quickly jumped on top of Nicholls to start the second half with an 11-4 run. The run set the tone for the remainder of the game, in which LU would never trail.
Nikki Williams led the early second half spurt with a jumper and a three pointer, while Brittney Williams, Trashanna Smith and Tamara Abalde each added a basket.
The Lady Colonels would not go away as the second half would down, cutting the Lamar lead to three points with 1:43 to play on a Tiffany Lewis free throw.
Lamar responded to the Nicholls State rally with a 5-0 run to stretch their lead back to eight points with 35 second to play. After Katherine Plummer sank a layup in the lane with 29 second to play, Lu closed out the game with three free throws to secure the nine-point victory.
In the first half the two teams went back and forth, each grabbing leads. Nicholls went up by seven points with 8:35 to play on a Plummer layup. Lamar however closed out the half on an 18-5 run for a four point lead at the break.
Plummer provided the bulk of the offense for Nicholls in the first half, scoring 24 of her game-high 32 points in the first 20 minutes. She was contained in the second half by a strong defensive effort by Aida Bakhos and Jasmine Stewart, who held her to just eight points in the second period. No other player for Nicholls scored in double figures.
Lamar was led by Abalde's 21 points while Nikki Williams
and Brittney Williams
added 16 and 13 points respectively. Smith also had a strong night for LU, posting her third straight double-digit rebounding effort in a row with a game-high 12.
As a team the Lady Cardinals shot 48.3 percent from the field, knocking down 29 of their 60 shots. They shot 60 percent from behind the three point arc, making six of 10 from deep while going 8-12 from the free throw line. Lamar also won the rebounding battle 41 to 31.
The Lady Cards will wrap up the regular season at home when they host the Lady Lions of Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Montagne Center.