LAKE CHARLES, La. – Chastadie Barrs produced her third straight double-double as the Lamar University Cardinals locked up the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament with an 83-67 win at archrival McNeese on Saturday.
Barrs finished with 13 points and tied a season-high with 10 assists as the Cardinals (22-6 overall, 15-3 Southland) earned an automatic berth into the tournament semifinals. The Cards will face an opponent that has yet to be determined at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.
Barrs, the nation’s leader in steals, had four on Saturday to give her 132 for the season, equaling the school record set by Ramona Jones in the 1990-91 season. Barrs has at least one steal in all 59 games in her career.
The 15 conference wins are a school record for the Cardinals, who go into the tournament on a five-game winning streak.
“It’s been a great season so far, we just have to keep it going,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “We have a very young team, and they’ve really grown up this year. Our freshmen are now playing like sophomores.”
LU came out strong at the start, scoring the first 12 points of the game en route to a 26-8 lead after one quarter. The Cardinals led by as many as 26 points, 36-10, with 6:30 remaining in the first half. McNeese (13-16, 8-10) battled back, closing the quarter on a 19-2 run to trail 38-29 at halftime.
“They went on their run, but we held on to the lead,” Harmony said. “We eventually took control in the third quarter. It’s always good to beat McNeese because they are our rival.”
The Cowgirls cut LU’s advantage to five points early in the third quarter before the Cardinals went on a 12-2 run to lead by 15 points and led by double digits for the rest of the contest.
LU had five players score in double figures, led by Moe Kinard with 23 points. Ashlan Miles had 11 points, while Kiandra Bowers and Kyla Green added 10 points apiece, with Green’s total representing a career high.
Victoria Rachal led McNeese with 19 points, while Mercedes Rogers had 12 points.
LENDING A HELPING HAND: Barrs now has 308 career assists, passing Barbara Hickey for fifth place on LU’s all-time list.
SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT TICKETS: The LU ticket office is selling individual-game tickets and all-season ticket booklets for the Southland Conference Tournament, set for March 8-12 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. Tickets for LU’s first game are $15 each. The tournament ticket booklet, which includes the four sessions for the men’s tournament and the four sessions for the women’s tourney, is $60. Contact the LU ticket office at 409-880-1715, or visit https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/BuyNew.asp?EventID=213808&SponsorID=9259#.WKNpWtIrIpt for first-round tickets, or https://www.ticketreturn.com/prod2/season.asp?SeasonPassID=27#.WKNpddIrIpt for the ticket booklet. LU will also have a ticket window at the Merrell Center prior to each LU game in the tourney.
WATCH AND LISTEN: All of the Cardinals’ postseason games will be broadcast on KLVI (AM 560). The tournament semifinal game will be streamed on ESPN3, while the championship game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.