Women's hoops plays host to SFA

GO CARDINALS Gia Ayers averages 5.14 assists per game.
GO CARDINALS
Gia Ayers averages 5.14 assists per game.
GO CARDINALS

Feb. 11, 2014

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BEAUMONT, Texas - A chance to solidify a first-round bye in next month's Southland Conference Tournament is on the line for the Lamar Lady Cardinals in a three-game home stand that opens at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Stephen F. Austin.

Lamar (13-9 overall, 8-3 Southland) is in second place, one game behind league-leading Central Arkansas, but one game ahead of Stephen F. Austin and Nicholls with seven games remaining. The top two teams receive byes into the tournament semifinals, while the third-and fourth-place teams earn first-round byes. The home stand includes a meeting with Northwestern State at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 and a clash with Sam Houston State at 4 p.m. Feb. 22.

The Last Meeting
Lamar43
Stephen F. Austin64
January 2, 2014
Nacogdoches, Texas
Women's hoops falls to SFA in SLC opener
Lamar freshman Kiandra Bowers grabbed a career-high eight rebounds, but her efforts went for naught as the Lady Cardinals dropped a 64-43 decision to host Stephen F. Austin in the Southland Conference women's basketball opener for both teams Thursday night.

Stephen F. Austin (13-10, 7-4) claimed a 64-43 home victory over Lamar on Jan. 2 in the conference opener for both teams.

"This is obviously an important homestand for us," Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. "We need to take care of business on our home floor."

Lamar has won four of its last five games, and is 3-1 in conference home games this season. Stephen F. Austin has won three of its last four, but has dropped its last three road contests.

Porsha Roberts leads the Ladyjacks in scoring and rebounding, averaging 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. As a team, Stephen F. Austin leads the Southland Conference in rebounding margin, grabbing 6.6 more boards per game than its opponents.

The Lady Cardinals have four players averaging in double figures when it comes to scoring. Dominique Edwards leads Lamar with 16.1 ppg. Gia Ayers averages 15.1 points; JaMeisha Edwards adds 11.9 points per game, while Shauna Long comes off the bench to chip in 10.5 points per outing.

Ayers leads the Southland Conference in assists, averaging 5.14 per game. Ayers is attempting to become the first Lady Cardinals to lead the conference in assists since Jenna Plumley did it in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Freshman post player Kiandra Bowers has added a spark to the Lady Cardinals recently, averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds over her last three games. Bowers tied career highs with 17 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 70-45 win over Sam Houston State.

"Kiandra just keeps getting better," Harmony said. "We hope she can keep producing."

Thursday's game is the annual Pink Zone game to raise awareness of breast-cancer research. The Lady Cardinals will wear special pink warm-up shirts along with pick socks and pink shoelaces for both of this week's games. Fans are also encouraged to wear pink to Thursday's game.

In addition, Thursday is Merchant Night, with ticket discounts available to local businesses. Fans attending Thursday's game will receive free stress balls courtesy of Star Graphics. Thursday is also Part 2 of the Student Organization Challenge, with student groups competing for cash prizes.

Tickets for Thursday's doubleheader, which features the men's game between Lamar and Stephen F. Austin at 7:30 p.m., are available at the Montagne Center ticket office, online at www.LamarCardinals.com, or by calling (409) 880-1715.

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