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Lady Cardinals flatten Southeast Louisiana

HAMMOND, La. – DeA’ngela Mathis had career highs of 30 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double to power the Lamar University Cardinals to a 75-58 win over the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions in a Southland Conference women’s basketball game Wednesday night.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 9-6 overall and 4-1 in the Southland Conference, while Southeastern Louisiana fell to 1-14 overall and 0-4 in conference play.

“DeA’ngela hit some big-time shots,” LU coach Robin Harmony said. “That kid just works and keeps getting better.”

Jadyn Pimentel added 15 points and a game-high seven steals for the Cardinals. Chastadie Barrs had four steals and five assists with no turnovers. Barrs, who now has at least one steal in all 76 games of her career, has 356 career steals, just three shy of the all-time Southland Conference record held by Nina Randle of Louisiana-Monroe.

The Cardinals got off to a quick start, scoring the first 13 points of the game less than four minutes into the contest. LU hit its first four shots of the game, with Pimentel draining a pair of 3-pointers, while Mathis connected on a jumper and a 3-pointer.

The Cardinals, who led 21-13 after one quarter, led by as many as 20 points in the second quarter before taking a 41-25 lead into the locker room. Mathis had 14 points in the first half, while Pimentel added 10 points over the first two quarters.

The Cardinals missed their first 12 shots of the third quarter, scoring their only point on a Moe Kinard free throw as the Lady Lions cut the LU lead to 42-38 before Mathis hit a layup while being fouled with 3:10 remaining in the period. Mathis hit the free throw to give LU a 45-38 lead. The Cardinals led 52-41 after three quarters, and the Lady Lions could get no closer the rest of the way.

“We had a bad five-minute stretch at the start of the third quarter,” Harmony said. “We couldn’t hit our shots, and we gave them hope. But we recovered and held them off. That’s a credit to our kids. That’s the first time I’ve won in this building, so it’s a good road win.”

The Cardinals had a 28-2 advantage in points off turnovers. The Lady Lions had 27 turnovers, while the Cardinals had 15 turnovers. LU held a 42-41 rebounding edge.

LU, which is idle until 7 p.m. Jan. 17 when they it hosts Incarnate Word, will play six of its next seven games at the Montagne Center, where the Cards are 5-0 this season and have won 20 in a row dating back to the start of last season. After the Incarnate Word game, the Cardinals host Sam Houston State at 2 p.m. Jan. 20.

“We’re 3-1 on the road in the conference, so we have done the job for the most part,” Harmony said. “It’s been a brutal road schedule, so we are looking forward to playing at home and defending the nest.”