Chatman’s 23 gives Cardinals win margin

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2015

BEAUMONT – Port Arthur native Dorian Chatman scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Lamar men’s basketball team to a 97-74 victory over Howard Payne on Tuesday evening in the Montagne Center. Chatman finished the night a perfect 12 of 12 from the free throw line.

The Cardinals head into Southland Conference play with an 8-4 (.667) overall record – a two-game improvement from last season. Howard Payne dropped to 2-9 (.182) after their 11th consecutive away game to start the 2015-16 season.

“In the second half, we pulled away from our press and went with half-court man,” said head coach Tic Price. “We decided to make our guys accountable and see what happens. I thought we did a much better job in the second half holding them to just 38 percent from the field. For the most part, I felt like we did exactly what we needed to in the second half. At the end of the day, our guys did a better job in the second half.”

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The Cardinals shot nearly 48 percent from the field, including a 16-of-32 (.500) performance in the second half. LU was also  6 of 9 (.667) from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes and finished the night 10 for 23 (.435) on threes. Big Red also forced the Yellow Jackets into 21 turnovers which LU cashed in for 32 points. On the flip side, LU did a great job of holding on to the basketball turning it over only seven times on the night.

Howard Payne outrebounded the Cardinals by four on the night, 42-38, but LU managed a six-point advantage on second-chance points, 20-14.

Senior Dontavious Sears came off the bench to score 12 points, while classmate LeMon Gregory added 11 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Kevin Booze came off the bench to chip in 11 points and record four steals.

The Cardinals scored the game’s first nine points, built a 15-point first-half lead and never trailed in the contest but HPU managed to make things interesting before halftime. LU kept the Yellow Jackets off the scoreboard for the first 3:32 of the game until Cam Frank hit a layup to dent the scoreboard with 16:28 remaining in the opening half. LU responded by pushing the lead to 15 points less than 3 minutes later, but that is when things got interesting.

The Yellow Jackets were trailing by 15 with less than 10 minutes on the clock when Frank buried a three-pointer. HPU trimmed the lead to eight following a dunk from Rickey Guillory. The Yellow Jackets kept the heat on LU over the course of the next 5 minutes by rattling off a 20-8 run to pull within three points, 34-31, with less than 5 minutes on the clock.

The Cardinals turned to senior Quan Jones to end the HPU run. Jones scored all eight of his points in the first half on 3-of-4 (.750) shooting, including two three-pointers. Jones appeared to have a third three-pointer at the buzzer, but after a video review the officials determined that Jones had a foot on the line making the shot worth two. Nevertheless, Jones’ hot shooting allowed the Cardinals to take a nine-point advantage into the locker room. It was a lead that wouldn’t be seriously threatened in the second half.

The Cards opened up the second on a 17-5 run to take a 21-point lead less than 5 minutes into the second half. HPU could get no closer than 18 points in the final 20 as Price was able to empty his bench.

Guillory led the Yellow Jackets with 18 points and seven rebounds. HPU’s Bryan Adams came off the bench to add 16 points in a losing effort.

The Cardinals tip off the new year Jan. 2 in Thibodaux, Louisiana, against Nicholls State. The Southland Conference opener against the Colonels is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. at Stopher Gym.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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