March 20, 2013
PORT ARTHUR, Texas – The Lamar Lady Cardinals didn’t take long to feel comfortable in their temporary home.
The Lady Cardinals rolled to a 70-48 win over Presbyterian on Wednesday in the first round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational in a game played at the Carl Parker Multipurpose center at Lamar State College-Port Arthur because Lamar’s home floor at the Montagne Center was unavailable.
Lamar (22-10) did it without the services of all-time leading scorer Kalis Loyd, who missed the game because of an injury. The Lady Cardinals had plenty of players step up to fill the void.
Dominique Edwards and Carenn Baylor led Lamar with 14 points apiece, while Gia Ayers added 13 points.
“We are a good team,” Lamar coach Larry Tidwell said. “We showed that tonight. I’m very proud of what this team did.”
The Lady Cardinals fell into an early 7-3 hole before going on a 14-4 run to take a 17-11 lead with 11:33 remaining in the first half. Lamar followed that up with a 7-2 run, and Presbyterian (19-12) never threatened after that. Lamar led 36-18 at halftime and built the lead to as many as 31 points in the second half.
“We knew we had to step up,” Edwards said. “We know that Kalis isn’t going to be back next year, and that it is up to us to be leaders. Kalis has created a great legacy at Lamar, and that’s something we want to build upon.”
Lamar’s defense held the Blue Hose to just 31.3 percent shooting (15-of-48) from the field. Presbyterian, which was third in the nation in 3-point shooting at 38.7 percent, was just 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from behind the arc Wednesday.
“We did a good job putting pressure on them,” Tidwell said. “They weren’t able to get a lot of great looks.”
Mariah Pietrowski led Presbyterian with 18 points and seven rebounds.
The Lady Cardinals will host a second round WBI game at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Montagne Center, facing the winner of Thursday’s game between Utah State and South Dakota. Tidwell listed Loyd’s status for Sunday as “day-to-day.”
“It will be nice to be back home,” Tidwell said of Sunday’s game. “But I want to thank the people here at Lamar State College-Port Arthur. Everything was first class.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game are $10 for adults and $5 for Lamar students. For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715, or visit www.LamarCardinals.com.