BEAUMONT, Texas — After a slow start, the Cardinals came out with the victory over Houston Baptist, 60-53, on Saturday at the Montagne Center.

The Huskie offense broke out for 16 points in the first quarter on 45 percent shooting, while limiting Lamar to just eight points on 20 percent. The Huskies were led by Megan Valdez-Crader who finished with 16 points and three rebounds.

Lamar used a huge second quarter to claw at the Huskie lead. The Cardinals used some big threes by redshirt senior Amber Vidal to help claw back at the lead, with Houston Baptist heading into halftime on top, 26-24, over Lamar. Senior Briana Laidler had 11 rebounds and three blocks on the afternoon.

The Cardinals out-scored the Huskies 36-27 in the second half backed by Vidal, Laidler and sophomore Angel Hastings. Hastings finished the afternoon with 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. Freshman Malay McQueen saw a season-high in minutes that led to her finishing with seven points on 60 percent shooting from the field.

From Coach Aqua Franklin:

On Amber Vidal's performance and the victory:

"It wasn't the prettiest. We'll take them how we get them. I'm proud of our young ladies for fighting in the second half. Coming out with the win, Amber was big down the stretch, knocking down threes, even when I was almost telling her hold up, but I told her she can't continue to wait to the fourth quarter to have these kinds of games that I would love to have those in the first quarter. Like I said, it's always a good day when we can walk away with win and just proud of the effort in the second half that we had."

On the challenges in the first the Houston Baptist gave firsthand:

"We were not being aggressive enough. I thought we settled for a lot of jump shots and then defensively they score where they wanted. They shot 45% in the in the first quarter. We want to make it tough for them to score and they were getting layups, they were getting anything they wanted, and so that defense is effort, and we were not giving effort. It killed us in the first half on the glass of just out-rebounded us and that's we own our home court or just any game you can't come in and get out tough."

From Redshirt Senior Amber Vidal:

On if there was a time that she needed to take over to get the lead:

"Definitely seeing the ball go through the basket helps a lot with me, and then after that, really, it's just being confident and not necessarily realizing that this is the time that I need to step up, but more so just like making sure everyone else is involved and then just keeping everyone level headed. The confidence comes from my coaching staff and my teammates. She's very adamant about making sure I stay out of my head and just telling me like they're not falling right now but they will fall in which the last two games she's been right."

Up Next: Lamar will go on a two-game road trip, kicking it off with a contest at Sam Houston State from the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum on Wednesday, January 11. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (CT).