Lady Cardinals drop heartbreaker at SMU
Gia Ayers scores career-high 30 points in loss
GARLAND, Texas – Gia Ayers poured in a career-high 30 points, but the Lamar Lady Cardinals saw their upset bid fall just short in an 82-79 loss to SMU in a non-conference women's basketball game Monday night.
Ayers notched her second double-double of the season, as she added a team-high 11 rebounds, just missing out on a triple-double, finishing with eight assists.
Ayers had 21 points in the second half, as Lamar (3-3) roared back from a 19-point deficit in the first half to take a three-point lead late in the second half only to see the Mustangs (6-0) hold on for the victory.
Lamar had a chance to send the game into overtime, forcing an SMU turnover, with 8.1 seconds remaining, but Dominique Edwards saw her 3-point attempt bounce off the rim. Edwards finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, while JaMeisha Edwards tied her career high with 14 points.
"Gia had a tremendous game," Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. "We never gave up, and we battle back. We got off to a slow start and it hurt us."
Keena Mays led SMU with 22 points, one of four Mustangs to finish in double figures. Gabrielle Wilkins had 17 points, Destynee Hives=McCray had 13 points, while Akil Simpson had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Cardinals committed a season-low 11 turnovers and shot a season-best 77.8 percent (14-of-18) from the free-throw line.
"We did some good things tonight," Harmony said. "It's tough to lose, but we showed we can play with top-quality teams."
The Lady Cardinals leave Wednesday for Las Cruces, N.M., for two games at the Aggies Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic. Lamar faces Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 2 pm. Friday and Northern Illinois at noon Saturday. Both games air live on www.LamarCardinals.com.