Cardinals grab 63-59 win over Texas State

Late game situations have often signaled trouble for the Lamar University women’s basketball team this season.

On Friday night, the Cardinals changed that trend, using a decisive fourth quarter to claim a 63-59 win over Texas State at Montagne Center in Beaumont.

Trailing by a field goal early in the final period, Lamar’s balanced offense began to wear down Texas State. A three-pointer from the top of the key by Anyssia Gibbs gave Lamar his biggest lead of the game at 60-53 with 3:01 remaining.

However, the Bobcats wouldn’t go down easily, making back-to-back layups to immediately tighten the margin.

Lamar’s leading scorer Sabria Dean didn’t score a field goal the entire game, but made two free throws in 10 seconds to give Lamar a three-point lead. Texas State never scored again and the Cardinals sealed their third straight win.

“We had a lot,” Lamar head coach Aqua Franklin said of late-game situations. “God gives you tests until you pass them, and we finally passed one tonight.”

In the beginning, things were about as even as it gets. Lamar and Texas State traded baskets throughout the first quarter, with neither team leading by more than two possessions.

The Cardinals jumped on a 7-2 run to start the game, but it was the Bobcats who led after the first period, 16-15.

The competitive action continued in the second quarter. However, Texas State took advantage of a few whistles that went the Bobcats way, sending one of Lamar’s most productive players to the bench.

With Texas State holding a slim lead midway through the second quarter, Lamar freshman forward Akasha Davis committed two offensive fouls in the span of a minute. With Davis on the bench and Lamar’s leading scorer, Dean, struggling on the field, the Bobcats slowly extended their advantage and took a 35-29 halftime lead.

Lamar then trailed for the entire third quarter, but stayed well within striking distance. In the opening play of the fourth quarter, guard Angel Hastings hit a three-pointer that gave the Cardinals their first lead of the second half.

Gibbs scored 15 points to beat three Lamar players by double figures, including multiple fourth-quarter baskets to help the Cardinals hold off Texas State.

“She was hard to take off,” Franklin said of Gibbs.

Lamar (3-4) will return to the Mountain Center next Wednesday to host Prairie View A&M.

Matt Faye is a sportswriter and columnist for Beaumont Enterprise. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter by clicking here.

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