KATY, Texas – The Lamar Lady Cardinals went cold at the worst possible time, and it ended up costing them, as they dropped a heartbreaking 61-60 decision to Northwestern State in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday.
The top-seeded Lady Cardinals (18-12) scored just three points over the final nine minutes of the game, and were outscored 6-0 in the final 57 seconds by fourth-seeded Northwestern State (20-12).
The loss does not put an end to the Lady Cardinals' season. Lamar is guaranteed berth in the WNIT. The Lady Cardinals will find out late Monday night who, when and where they are going to play."
"This was our game to win, and we gave it away," a disappointed Lamar coach Robin Harmony said after the game. "We had a chance to put the game away. We didn't do that, and it cost us."
The loss overshadowed a tremendous effort by Lamar senior Alice Robinson, who had eight rebounds to go along with 13 points, which tied a career high. Gia Ayers had 14 points and seven assists, Caroline Adesulu had 11 points, while JaMeisha Edwards added 10 points.
Trudy Armstead had a game-high 21 points for Northwestern State, but it was Janelle Perez who inflicted the most damage for the Lady Demons, scoring the final six points of the game. Perez scored on a layup with 2.8 seconds remaining after Lamar was called for a five-second violation.
The Lady Cardinals had one last chance, but Shauna Long's desperate 3-pointer at the buzzer was well off the mark.
"We played a good game until the last minute," Harmony said. "We shot ourselves in the foot at the end."
The good news for the Lady Cardinals is that they get a chance at redemption when they play in the WNIT.
"We have to put this behind us," Robinson said. "As a senior, I am going to have to go out in practice and lead by example. We want to make a run in the postseason."