BEAUMONT – The Lamar Cardinals raced out to a 25-point halftime lead and added on in the second half, handing the Sam Houston State Bearkats a 91-44 defeat at the Montagne Center on Saturday afternoon.
It was the 10th consecutive loss for the Bearkats (3-13, 0-7 SLC) while the Cardinals (11-6, 6-1 SLC) stayed near the top of the league standings with their sixth win in the last seven outings.
The Kats started strong with a 19-point first quarter, but scored just 16 over the next 20 minutes as the Cardinals stretched out their lead. Sam Houston shot just 31.6 percent from the floor for the game, but was primarily hampered by a season-high 41 turnovers, marking the third time this season Lamar has forced a team to more than 40.
Rachel Harrell led the Bearkats with 11 points, including a trio of 3-point baskets in the first half, and was one of eight players in the scoring column. Kiera McKinney added seven points and a team-best five assists.
For the Cardinals, guard Chastadie Barrs did it all, just missing her third triple-double of the season with 21 points, 11 steals and eight assists. Moe Kinard also added 21 for Lamar, who put four players in double figures.
The Bearkats will now head to Hammond, La., on Wednesday to take on Southeastern Louisiana. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. from the University Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE FIRST HALF
Sam Houston shot it well in the opening quarter, hitting 57 percent of its shots from the field. Rachel Harrell and Akarian Morgan combined for three 3-point buckets in the quarter and the Kats held a one-point lead midway through on a runner from Jenniffer Oramas. But 10 turnovers hampered the cause and helped the Cardinals close the quarter on a 15-4 run to take a 28-19 lead.
Another 3-point bucket from Harrell and a 3-point play from Oramas had the Kats still within 11 at 36-25 nearly midway through the quarter, but from there the offense would go silent. Sam Houston was held scoreless for the final 5:49 of the half and the Cardinals took advantage, closing on a 14-0 run to take a commanding 25-point lead into the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED IN THE SECOND HALF
The Bearkats started strong early in the third quarter, getting six straight points on scores from Morgan, Ashleigh Cooper and Harrell, but again went cold against the Lamar pressure defense.
The Cardinals forced another 13 turnovers in the quarter and pushed its lead up to 34 points with a 14-1 run before closing the quarter again with a 14-2 run in the final 3:25 to take a 78-35 lead into the final period. The Kats would get scores from Mickens, Cooper and a 3-pointer from Harston in the fourth quarter, but were unable to put a dent in score, as they hit just 26.7 percent from the field in the second half.