BEAUMONT, Texas – A tough day at the free-throw line proved to be costly to the Lamar Lady Cardinals in a 68-67 loss to visiting Tulsa in a non-conference women's basketball game Sunday.
Lamar (2-2) shot just 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from the charity stripe, and missed its last four free throws as it squandered a 10-point lead over the final 9:19 of the contest.
The loss dampened the efforts of JaMeisha Edwards, Kensha'dra Smith and Kiandra Bowers, who all posted career highs on the day. Edwards, a sophomore, had a game-high 14 points, while Bowers, a freshman, finished with 11 points and Smith, another freshman, added 10 points,
"We had the lead for most of the game, but we let it get away," Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. "Our free-throw shooting has to get better. Maybe this will motivate our players to put that extra work in."
The Lady Cardinals led by as many as 15 points in the first half, and took a 34-26 lead into the locker room. Lamar held a 62-56 lead with 3:16 remaining when Edwards hit a jumper, but Tulsa (1-1) closed out the game on a 12-5 run.
Kadan Brady hit a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to give the Golden Hurricane since 6:48 remained in the first half. Lamar failed to get a shot off on the ensuing possession, as Stevi Parker sealed the win with a steal with two seconds remaining.
"It seemed as if nobody wanted to take the shot at the end," Harmony said. "Nobody wanted to be the one who missed the shot. But you're not going to win if you never get a shot off."
Shauna Long added 10 points for Lamar, while Alice Robinson added a game-high nine rebounds before being forced to leave the game with an injury with 5:55 remaining.
"It's a tough loss, but I think our freshmen grew up today," Harmony said. "We needed a bigger game from our upper classmen. They needed to step up and be leaders."
Brady led Tulsa with 13 points. Mariah Turner and Ashley Clark had 12 points apiece, while Liesl Spoerl added 11 points off the bench.
Lamar returns to action at 7 p.m. Sunday when it opens a five-game road swing by taking on Louisiana-Lafayette.
"We've already put this game behind us," Harmony said. "The best way to bounce back from a loss is to get a win."