Ladyjacks defeat Lamar 61-51, earn spot in conference tourney

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks used a stifling defense and balanced scoring effort to run their winning streak to four straight with a 61-51 victory over the Lamar Lady Cardinals Wednesday evening at William R. Johnson Coliseum.

SFA (19-7, 9-4) limited Lamar (15-12, 7-6) to just 28 percent shooting, which included 2-of-10 from three-point territory. Offensively, senior guard Tammara Marion led the Ladyjacks with 11 points while five others scored six points or more.

The win for SFA also marked their first in six years against the Lady Cardinals, having not beaten Lamar since the 2006-07 campaign.

The Lady Cardinals were led in scoring by the reigning Southland Conference Player of the Week, Kalis Loyd, who scored a game-high 17 points but shot just 6-of-16 from the floor. Loyd was joined in double-digit scoring by Carenn Baylor, who put in 14 points.

SFA's depth once again proved to be too much for their opponent, winning the bench scoring battle 25-15. Courtney Conwright had one of her better games since returning from injury with eight points as did Ashlee Mells (8 points). Amina Sawyer flirted with back-to-back double-doubles, finishing with seven points and nine rebounds in 29 minutes of action.

Neither team pulled away in the first half but SFA held the lead for the final six and a half minutes of action following back-to-back three-pointers from Marion and Mells. Marion scored eight of her 11 points in the first half, which included a running jumper with 16 seconds remaining to give the Ladyjacks a 30-25 lead going into halftime.

The Ladyjacks outscored Lamar 31-26 in the second half and never saw their lead slip below seven points in the final 18 minutes of play, extending it out all the way to 50-35 with seven minutes left to play.

SFA managed to win despite being outscored 28-16 in the paint and allowing 20 offensive rebounds.

The Ladyjacks, who have three games left in the conference season, will next travel to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday for a battle with the Islanders at 2 p.m. That game can be heard on Q107.7 FM with the pregame show starting at 1:45 p.m.

They will then return home for the final time this season on Wednesday, Feb. 29 for a showdown with rival Sam Houston State on Senior Night.