HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Determined not to go 0-3 to start conference play, Lamar would come out of the gates swinging and grab their first Western Athletic Conference win against fellow conference rival Sam Houston State 68-55. LU had four players reach double figures and would make 49% from the field all game long.
Malay McQueen led all Cardinals’ players with 17 points on seven-of-13 shooting and finished with a team-high six rebounds. Sabria Dean posted 16 points and was a factor defensively with four steals while Akasha Davis poured in 14 points. Angel Hastings came off the bench to score 11. A critical factor for LU was their ability to knock down all 14 free throws in the win.
The Cardinals opened the contest with a strong 6-0 start on their way to a 16-6 lead. Davis would be useful in the paint scoring 10 of the points on a perfect five-of-five shooting. With 58.3 percent made from the field, LU was up 16-11 after one.
SHSU began the second quarter with a 4-2 run to cut the deficit to 18-15. LU continued to score in the paint on 10 of their next 12 points as they increased the lead to 30-20. Dean would have a strong second quarter with eight points to get to 10 in the half as the Cardinals would lead by nine at 33-24. For the first half, LU shot 57.7% from the field.
LU’s lead grew to thirteen at 37-24 to start the second half. The Bearkats would respond with an 8-0 run before Dean’s four free throws and a basket by NJ Weems allowed LU to increase their lead 45-36. Each team converted one final bucket as LU led 47-39 heading to the final quarter despite shooting 26.7%.
As the fourth quarter started, the Bearkats would get within striking distance at 51-47 with 7:10 left to go. But big shots by McQueen, Anyssia Gibbs and Weems gave LU a double-digit lead they wouldn’t yield for the remainder of the game. McQueen had nine points in the quarter while Hastings added six in a quarter that saw LU reach over 50% (58.3%) for the third time in the game in the 68-55 win.
LU will look to even their conference record as they will fly up north to Chicago to meet with Chicago State at 1:00 PM.