March 7, 2013
THIBODAUX, La. – Dominique Edwards and Gia Ayers each had career nights, but it wasn’t enough for the Lamar Lady Cardinals as they dropped an 84-77 decision to host Nicholls in a Southland Conference women’s basketball game on Thursday.
Edwards had her third career double-double with a career-best 17 rebounds to go along with 16 points, while Ayers netted a career-high 18 points for Lamar (19-9 overall, 11-6 Southland). The loss ended any hopes the Lady Cardinals had for a regular-season title. Lamar is still alive for a first-round bye in next week’s Southland Conference Tournament in Katy, Texas.
“We did a lot of positive things, but we let some situations slip away from us, and Nicholls turned them into points,” Lamar coach Larry Tidwell said. “We had our chances.”
Lamar trailed 42-34 at halftime and saw Nicholls stretch its lead to 13 points in the first two minutes of the second half before clawing back into the contest. The Lady Cardinals cut the lead to 74-72 with three minutes remaining thanks to a Kalis Loyd layup and had a chance to tie things up after an Ayers steal, but missed two layups.
KK Babin of Nicholls then hit two free throws to give the Colonels (18-10, 10-7) a 76-72 edge. A Loyd pulled LU to within 78-75 with 1:21 left before Jenny Nash’s 3-pointer with 61 seconds remaining proved to be the fatal dagger.
Nash’s trey was one of 11 by the Colonels, who were 11-of-24 (45.8 percent) from beyond the arc. Nash was the Colonels’ biggest long-range threat, as she canned six of her 11 attempts.
Loyd led Lamar with 19 points and Carenn Baylor had 11 points for the Lady Cardinals.
Nash had 22 points and Babin had 21 points for the Colonels, who got 19 points from Alisha Allen and 12 points and 11 rebounds from Jasmine Scott.
The Lady Cardinals wrap up the regular season when they travel to Southeastern Louisiana at 2 p.m. Saturday. A win would guarantee Lamar a top-four finish and a bye into the quarterfinals of the Southland Conference Tournament. Lamar could still finish in the top four with a loss, but the Lady Cardinals would have to see how Saturday’s other results turn out.
“We just have to go in and take care of business on Saturday,” Tidwell said. “We have to be ready to play.”
Southeastern Louisiana (11-17, 4-13) did not qualify for this season’s tournament.
Saturday’s game will air live on KLVI (AM 560) and be simulcast at www.LamarCardinals.com.