BEAUMONT, Texas — While the weather outside was cold and chilly, it was a hot second half that helped propel Lamar University to a 75-65 victory over Dixie State on Thursday night. LU evens their conference record at 3-3 to go along with their 8-7 record.
Akasha Davis powered her way to a game-high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting. She also recorded a double-double with 11 rebounds. With five threes on the night, Malay McQueen finished with 17 points while both Sabria Dean and Anyssia Gibbs scored 14 points. LU finished the game shooting 43.5 percent from the field while the Cardinals finished the night with 21 second chance points in the contest.
The first quarter would see DSU start off with a 7-4 run. LU's post players of Davis and Michaela Wilson would get a run of four unanswered points. The Trailblazers converted a go-ahead three before Gibbs knocked down a pair of free throws to mark an 11-10 DSU lead after one. LU shot 23.1% from the field in the opening period.
The Cardinals outscored DSU 9-5 to open the second quarter with McQueen pouring in five points. Each team then traded leads until the Trailblazers led 29-27. That was when LU went on a run of nine straight points as McQueen, Wilson, and Gibbs pushed the LU advantage to 36-29. Despite shooting 55.6% from the field, LU was outshot by the Trailblazers (61.5%), but still led 36-33 at the break.
It would be the third quarter that propelled the Cards to a double-digit lead by the end as Davis and McQueen combined for 10 points to start LU off with a 48-38 margin. While the Trailblazers would cut the deficit in half, the Cards responded with more threes as Dean and Gibbs each connected from downtown that helped put the score at 60-49.
DSU threatened to come back early in the fourth with four points. But LU's defense and the trio of Davis, Dean, and Gibbs surged the Cardinals back to double-figures while Angel Hastings seemed to ice the win with a three with five minutes to go. While DSU did trim the margin to seven, LU made sure their free throws down the stretch would give them a home WAC victory heading into Saturday.
The Cardinals will look for a Utah sweep as they will host Utah Valley this Saturday at 2:00 PM.