NATCHITOCHES— A 10-point comeback attempt with less than a minute to play fell just short Saturday afternoon as the Northwestern State women's basketball team lost to Lamar 71-68 in Southland Conference action.
The Lady Cardinals (9-4, 2-0 SLC) held a 64-54 lead with 51 seconds remaining when NSU's (5-6, 1-1 SLC) Keisha Lee hit a 3-pointer followed by two Kalis Loyd free throws. Loyd, the league's third-leading scorer, scored 20 points and five assists.
Lee scored another 3-pointer and a jump shot to cut it to a four-point lead. After two made free throws from LU's Dominique Edwards, Lee scored two of her own.
Lady Cardinals made one free throw on the ensuing foul, and Breanna Fuller grabbed a missed NSU 3-pointer and layed it in from the right side to make cut it to three.
Brooker Asia made two free throws before NSU's Janelle Perez was fouled with two seconds remaining. Perez, the conference's leading free throw shooter, made both to close out the game.
The Lady Demons finished with 19 turnovers, 14 of them in the first half, and Lamar capitalized for 17 points.
"Turnovers were the one stat that we did not win which resulted in 17 points for Lamar," said Lady Demons basketball co-head coach Brooke Stoehr. "If we cut those in half we get a win but you can't fault their effort.
"They battled their tails off and I will gladly go to battle with any of these kids if they are playing with the heart, energy and effort that they are playing with right now.
Lee (15), Jasmine Upchurch (15), Janelle Perez (14) and Jasmine Bradley (11) all scored in double-digits. Jasmine Bradley finished with her second double-double in three games, collecting 11 rebounds.
"We had great, balanced scoring today," said Stoehr. "I thought that everyone who went in contributed and I really felt their effort."
Edwards finished with 16 points and 10 boards for the Lady Cardinals.
"We have got a long way to go," said Stoehr. "Like I said after our win against McNeese, it is just one game so now we have to regroup and prepare for a quick turnaround at Sam Houston on Monday.
"I feel confident in our team if we can show up and compete like we have the last two games. I think the girls are starting to feel a little more confident and as they continue to mature I think we will see some more w's come up."
Northwestern State will play its next three contests on the road as they travel to Sam Houston on Monday, Oral Roberts on Thursday and Central Arkansas on Jan. 12. The Lady Demons return home Jan. 17 to take on Nicholls.