Women's hoops hosts McNeese State on Saturday
Feb. 15, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas - The Lamar Lady Cardinals look to maintain at least a share of first place in the Southland Conference when they host McNeese State at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Montagne Center.
Lamar (17-6 overall, 9-3 Southland) is tied with Sam Houston State atop the Southland standings, just a half-game ahead of Oral Roberts. McNeese State (12-11, 7-5) comes into Saturday's game tied for fourth place with Nicholls.
"We're getting down to crunch time," Lamar coach Larry Tidwell said. "We have six games remaining, and each and every one is important."
The Lady Cardinals bring a five-game winning streak into Saturday's contest. Lamar's latest win was a 76-55 non-conference decision over Houston Baptist on Wednesday, the 38th straight non-conference home win for the Lady Cardinals. McNeese State has dropped two straight and has been idle since a 60-59 loss at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday, the Islanders' first conference win of the season.
Lamar's defense has been a key to the current winning streak, holding opponents to an average of 47.6 points per game during the current win streak. For the season, the Lady Cardinals are holding opponents to an average of 54.0 points per game, seven points per game fewer than the school record of 61.0 ppg allowed during the 1999-2000 season.
"We take pride in our defense," Lamar forward Dominique Edwards said. "It's something we work on every day."
Lamar is looking for a season sweep of the Cowgirls. The Lady Cardinals claimed a 57-53 win at McNeese State on Jan. 19 behind 22 points and 15 rebounds from Kalis Loyd.
Loyd leads Lamar in scoring (17.7) and rebounding (7.3). Ashlyn Baggett, who scored 20 points for McNeese State in the loss to Lamar, leads the Cowgirls in scoring at 18.4 points per game, while twin sister Caitlyn Baggett averages 13.9 points per contest.
McNeese State leads the overall series 38-26. Tidwell is 4-5 against McNeese State, and looks to square that mark Saturday.
"It's a big rivalry, and it's definitely a battle we feel we have to win," Tidwell said. "It helps with recruiting because we're often recruiting the same student-athletes."
Saturday's game will cap off Reunion Weekend for the Lady Cardinals, as former coaches and players will be at a reception dinner on Friday night before being honored at halftime on Saturday.
"I think the atmosphere is going to be conducive for a great game," Tidwell said. "We just want to make sure we do our part."
Saturday's game will be the first contest of a hoops doubleheader, with the Lamar men meeting McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. Both games will air live on KLVI (AM 560) and be simulcast on www.LamarCardinals.com.
For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715, or visit http://www.lamarcardinals.com/tickets/whoops-tickets.html.