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Cold second half ends Lamar's title hopes

Lady Cards let second half lead slip away in SLC title game

BEAUMONT, Texas — Seeking their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010, Lamar University’s women’s basketball team would build themselves a double-digit midway through the third quarter against top seeded Southeastern Louisiana. But the Lions rallied back to take the lead in the end of the third quarter and never relinquished it for the remainder of the game. With the Lions’ 66-57 win, they secured their first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament while the Cardinals’ season comes to an end with a 20-12 record overall.

Portia Adams led the Cardinals with 20 points and came two rebounds shy of a double-double. Akasha Davis tallied her 18th career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Both of them were named to the all-tournament team for their performances in the tournament. The Cardinals would wind up shooting 43.1% from the field, which included 31.0% in the second half. 

LU opened the game with a 9-2 surge forcing the Lions to call a timeout. SLU trimmed the lead to 13-10 with an 8-4 run, but the Cardinals needed six of the final eight points to finish the first quarter up 19-12. Led by six points from Davis, the Cardinals converted 50.0% from the field. 

The Lions made the Cardinal lead to 22-19 after a 7-3 run. But LU’s response came from layups by both Dean and NJ Weems to lead 28-19. Each team traded baskets for the remainder of the first half as LU’s nine-point lead stood at 36-27. The Cardinals once against shot over 50% from the field (61.5%). 

Davis reached double figures early in the third to give LU their first double-digit lead of the game at 40-29. But, the Lions would pick up steam going on an 18-4 run that changed the dynamic of the game. LU retook the lead on a three-pointer by Adams. Yet, it would be the last lead they would have as SLU responded with eight straight points to lead 53-47. 

The Lions stretched their lead to 56-49 with 7:52 to go. But the Cardinals would not give up as they would make it an 8-3 run to cut the lead to 59-57 with 3:55 to play. The Cardinals had a chance to take the lead, but never could get that shot. The Lions would use the final minutes to score seven points to preserve the 66-57 win. 

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