LU women's basketball wins 19th straight at home

Senior Kiandra Bowers, shown here with Head Coach Robin Harmony

True freshman Lola Bracy came off the bench to score a career-high 24 points, while junior Chastadie Barrs notched her national-best third triple-double of the season as the Lamar Cardinals equaled a school record for points scored in a 116-37 win over the visiting Schreiner Mountaineers in a non-conference women’s basketball game at the Montagne Center on Dec. 4.

Barrs, who finished with 11 points, handed out a career-best 11 assists and equaled her career high with 11 steals as the Cardinals (5-4) won their 19th straight home game dating back to last season. Barrs, who has at least one steal in all 70 games in her career, moved into third place on LU’s all-time assist chart with 378. Jenna Plumley is second at 399, and Ramona Jones holds the LU career mark with 653 assists.

The Cardinals never trailed in this game, scoring the first seven points of the contest. LU led 29-10 after one quarter and 53-15 at halftime. The Cardinals pushed their advantage to 85-22 after three quarters before outscoring the Mountaineers 31-15 in the final period.

The Cardinals shot a season-best 61 percent (47-of-77) from the field while also draining a season-high 46.7 percent of their 3-point attempts (14-of-30).

Bracy was 9-of-14 from the field on her career night. She also set career highs with four rebounds and two assists.

“I just wanted to go out there and do the best I could for my team,” Bracy said. “We’re always sticking together and cheering each other on. We want each and every one of the players to do the best that we can do.”

The Cardinals take a break from competition for a little more than two weeks for final exams. LU opens a three-game road trip on Dec. 20 when it travels to New Mexico for the final non-conference game of the season. LU opens Southland Conference play at Houston Baptist on Dec. 28 before traveling to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 30. The next home game for the Cardinals is 7 p.m. Jan. 3 vs. New Orleans in the Montagne Center,

Prior to the game, senior Kiandra Bowers was honored for surpassing the 1,000-point mark for her career. Bowers is currently 13th on LU’s all-time list with 1,033 points.

Men’s hoops

Through the first seven games of the season, Lamar has made a name for itself by hitting clutch shots at key moments, jumping out to one of the best starts in program history. But on a night when the Cardinals struggled to buy a basket, it was the defense that stepped up to make clutch stop after clutch stop, defeating a pesky St. Thomas squad, 60-46, on Dec. 5 in the Montagne Center.

The Cardinals managed just 35 percent from the field and ended the game with their worst three-point shooting night of the season, 4-of-28 (.143). Big Red also struggled from the free throw line converting just 16-of-29 (.552) attempts.

Led by a game-high eight steals from senior Zjori Bosha, the defense held St. Thomas to an 18-of-51 performance from the field and an abysmal 2-of-19 (.105) from beyond the arc.

LU recorded 20 steals on the night as six different players recorded a theft.

The Celts were forced into 34 turnovers on the night, but LU could only manage 21 points off the St. Thomas mistakes.

“This was an ugly win, but we will certainly take it,” said coach Tic Price. “You have to give St. Thomas a lot of credit. They really did a good job playing hard on every play. We missed a lot of shots that we normally make. You don’t see Nick Garth missing wide open jumps shots.”

Weisbrod led the team with a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds, while Nzeakor added 12 points and six rebounds.

The Cardinals will be back in action Saturday, Dec.9 to take on Howard Payne at 4:30 p.m.

Cross country

The cross country program placed three senior student-athletes on the Southland Conference All-Academic team.

Freddie Gasbarri of the LU men’s team was a first-team selection, while Cormac Kelly of the LU men’s team and Evelyn Chavez of the LU women’s squad were second-team choices.

Gasbarri has a 4.0 GPA in engineering science. Gasbarri helped the Cardinals win their fifth straight Southland Conference men’s cross country title by placing 11th at the conference championships.

Kelly has a 3.6 GPA in business administration. He was placed seventh at the SLC championships.

Chavez finished eighth at this year’s SLC meet. She has a 3.297 GPA in nursing.

Softball

Lamar softball coach Holly Bruder announced that seven student-athletes signed a National Letter of Intent to attend LU on a softball scholarship starting in fall 2018.

Coming to LU are Alicia De Leon, Regan Dunn, Bethany Edwards, Savana Mata, Arianna Perales, Bailey Tindell and A.J. Williams.

De Leon (Atascocita High School, Kingwood), who can play infield or outfield, has been a member of Atascocita’s varsity team since her freshman year, helping her team win two regional titles. She has also played travel softball for the ScrapYard Dawgs, one of the nation’s top travel teams, for the past three seasons.

Dunn (Cuero HS) posted a 0.70 ERA as a junior with 260 strikeouts. In her three years at Cuero, she has struck out 852 batters. An all-state pitcher in each of her first three seasons, she has also been productive offensively, batting .525 as a junior.

Edwards (Belton HS) was a first-team all-state catcher each of the past two seasons after earning honorable-mention accolades at first base as a freshman. The District 8-6A Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, Edwards hit .539 with seven home runs and 45 RBIs.

Mata (Pasadena Memorial HS) hit .431 as a junior, earning first-team all-district honors for the second consecutive year after earning second-team accolades as a freshman. She plays travel ball with the Aces Express Gold.

Perales (Waco University HS) earned first-team all-district recognition as a shortstop for the third straight year last season after batting .462. She plays travel softball for Buzz Gold.

Tindell (Salado HS) earned first-team All-District 4A accolades for the second straight season as a pitcher. She holds the school’s single-season and career records for pitching wins.

Williams (Cedar Ridge HS, Round Rock) has helped Cedar Ridge win three consecutive District 13-6A championships. A team captain last season, she earned honorable-mention all-district status. She plays travel softball for the Austin Stars Garcia and Texas Blaze Gold Slimp. Her brother Aaron played six seasons at safety for the Buffalo Bills. Her uncle, Ken Taylor, was a member of the Chicago Bears that won Super Bowl XX.

Athletes visit elementary school

Students at Pietzsch MacArthur Elementary School in Beaumont received a special surprise Dec. 1 as members of the Lamar University softball team, cheer squad and Big Red showed up for a pep rally. In addition to the players and the spirit squad, Nancy Evans, wife of LU President Dr. Kenneth R. Evans, interim athletics director Norman Bellard, Jamie Price, wife of LU head men’s basketball coach Tic Price, and former football letterman Mike Hargis were also on hand for the pep rally.

The rally was geared to focusing school-age children on the importance of a college education. The LU contingent handed out red and white T-shirts to the children, which simply read, “I’m Going to College.”

Several members of the LU contingent spoke to the enthusiastic children including softball’s Shelby Hughston. The Bastrop native brought her service dog with her to the pep rally and spoke to the children about how her service dog helps her while at college. She also told the children to always ask the owner of a service dog before you pet them because the dogs are on duty protecting their owners.

shadow