BEAUMONT, Texas – Jadyn Pimentel and DeA’ngela Mathis each had career highs, while Kiandra Bowers registered her 25th career double-double as the Lamar University Cardinals rolled to a 101-37 win over the visiting Howard Payne Lady Jackets in a non-conference women’s basketball game at the Montagne Center on Tuesday evening.
Pimentel came off the bench to post career bests of 20 points and eight steals. Mathis, who also came off the bench, finished with a career-high 15 points. Bowers, who was among the national leaders last season with 17 double-doubles, had 13 points and 16 rebounds for her first double-double of the season.
“it was a good win. We finally got Kiandra back on track with her double-double. There’s many more of those to come,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “DeA’ngela had a great game and Jadyn broke out with 20 points. That’s great for a freshman. We think that we’re finally getting some of our bench to start to play.”
The Cardinals (3-2) outscored the Lady Jackets (1-2) 53-5 in bench points.
LU, which won its 18th straight home game dating back to last season, set a school record with 30 steals in the game, surpassing the old mark of 29 set against Texas-Pan American on Feb. 4, 1989. The Cardinals had a 58-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
“We hang our hat on defense, and that showed again tonight,” Harmony said. “Chastadie Barrs has 10 steals and Jadyn has eight. They had trouble with our press.”
Pimentel, whose previous high was 12 points against Baylor, also had a game-high six assists on Tuesday.
“I stopped forcing things and I just went with the flow,” Pimentel said. “I let the game come to me.”
Mathis was 9-of-10 from the foul line to help the Cardinals shoot 79.2 percent (19-of-24) from the charity stripe for the game.
Bowers, who equaled her career high with 16 rebounds, moved past Jojuana Rogers into ninth place on LU’s all-time rebounding chart with 680. Her 13 points give her 986 for her career, just 14 points shy of becoming the 14th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
“I haven’t been playing well at the start of the season,” Bowers said. “I really wanted to be aggressive on the boards. I know a lot of my offense comes from rebounds. I wanted to calm down a little bit and stop forcing shots.”
With her 10 steals, Barrs became just the second player in program history to hit the 300 mark in steals. The two-time Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, leads the nation in steals this year with 37. She is 31 shy of the LU career record for steals of 333 set by Ramona Jones.
Kyla Green equaled a career high with 12 points, while Moe Kinard also had 12 points in the win. The Cardinals had a 55-32 edge in rebounds.
LU led just 9-8 with 5:45 remaining in the first quarter before scoring 28 straight points over the next 7:37 to take a 37-8 lead with 8:08 remaining in the second quarter. The Cardinals led 59-19 at halftime and 85-23 after three quarters as LU scored 100 points for the first time since Dec. 2, 2009, a span of 249 games.
Presley McKethan led Howard Payne with 13 points, while Chelsey Harris finished with 10 points.
The Cardinals hit the road for three straight games. LU is in San Antonio for the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic over the weekend. The Cards face North Dakota at 2 p.m. Friday and Northern Illinois at noon Saturday. After that, LU travels to Stockton, California, to meet the Pacific Tigers on Nov. 30.
“I think it’s good for us that we do travel and that we’re together,” Harmony said. “The kids like each other. It will be a good time for camaraderie. The two games at UTSA will be at a neutral site. It’s not like someone has the advantage of playing on their home court, but we’re in the state of Texas, we have to be sure we go out and set the tone.”
LU’s next home game is 7 p.m. Dec. 4 against Schreiner.