BEAUMONT, Texas – – Thirteen home games, including five doubleheaders with the Lamar University men’s basketball team, highlight the 2017-18 LU Cardinals women’s basketball schedule that was announced Tuesday.
The Cardinals were a perfect 15-0 at home last season en route to a 22-8 overall record and a berth in the Women’s Basketball Invitational, the Cardinals’ fifth postseason appearance in the last eight years. The Cardinals return all five starters from last season’s squad that went 15-3 in the Southland Conference, setting a school record for conference victories in a season.
Among the returning players are junior guard Chastadie Barrs, the two-time Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year and junior guard Moe Kinard, last season’s Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year. Post player Kiandra Bowers, who redshirted in 2015-16, returns for her final season.
“We were proud of our 15-0 record at home last season,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “We always want to defend our nest.”
The Cardinals open their season at powerful Baylor at 7 p.m. Nov. 10. The home season commences at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 when the Cardinals entertain Louisiana College in the Montagne Center. Other non-conference opponents coming to the Montagne Center this season are Southwestern Assemblies of God (Nov. 16), Howard Payne (Nov. 21) and Schreiner (Dec. 4).
The Cardinals have a challenging non-conference road schedule. In addition to Baylor, LU will be at Purdue, Pacific and New Mexico along with facing North Dakota and Northern Illinois at the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic.
“We are playing some great teams that will get us ready for our conference schedule,” Harmony said. “We always try to schedule some good trips so that our student-athletes can experience new things.”
The Southland Conference schedule begins with road games at Houston Baptist (Dec. 28) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Dec. 30). LU’s first conference home game is Jan. 3 against New Orleans.
The Cardinals face archrival McNeese twice in 2017-18, with both games part of a doubleheader with the men’s team. LU hosts McNeese on Jan. 27 and travels to Lake Charles on March 3 for the regular-season finale for both teams.
LU is at defending Southland Conference champion Central Arkansas on Jan. 6. LU has two meetings with perennial nemesis Stephen F. Austin. The Cardinals host the Ladyjacks on Feb. 3 before paying a return visit to SFA on Feb. 24.
“Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin are the teams we expect to contend with for first place,” Harmony said. “Those games are always battles.”
All of LU’s home games will be on ESPN3, the network’s online platform.
The Southland Conference Tournament will be at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas, for the 11th consecutive year. This season’s women’s tournament is set for March 8-11.
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