Cold shooting costs LU

Published 11:17 pm Saturday, February 6, 2016

BEAUMONT — Eight minutes and 41 seconds is an eternity in college basketball.
It is 1:19 away from being an exact split of an entire half.
This is how long the Lamar Cardinals went Saturday without a point in a 74-71 loss to Incarnate Word at the Montagne Center.
The host Cardinals (10-13, 2-9) missed 13 shots in the span and three front-ends of 1-and-1 situations.
“We didn’t do a good job and we didn’t score,” Lamar coach Tic Price said. “We went 13 straight possessions and didn’t score. That is the difference in the ball game right there. That is the whole story.”
Lamar has now lost six straight to fall into sole possession of last place in the Southland conference.
Boaz Williams hit a jumper and then converted a free throw with 9:51 left in the game to give Lamar a 61-59 advantage.
The Cardinals would not score again until there was 1:11 left on the clock when Port Arthur native Dorian Chatman knocked down a basket to make it 66-63.
“I thought we got tight as we went down the stretch,” Price said. “When you lose so many games you do not play with the confidence. You don’t have the feel of winning. It takes something out of you when you lose these games. Incarnate Word was a very determined team.”
Lamar senior Quan Jones finished with 13 points, six in the first and seven in the second.
“Those stretches are going to happen in basketball,” Jones said. “If you make stops, you can continue to play well. If nobody is scoring, the game will stay its course.”
Price pointed to Incarnate Word’s ability to knock down free throws as another difference in the game. Incarnate Word (12-8, 7-2) made 24 of 28 free throws and was 10 of 10 in the last 1:30 of the game.
Incarnate Word sophomore Jontrell Walker led the visitors with 17 points and was a perfect 6 for 6 from the charity stripe. Walker led the nation in free throw percentage coming into Saturday at 92.5-percent.
“We knew we had to keep them off the line and out of the paint,” Price added. “We didn’t exactly execute the game plan, especially on the offensive end.”
Lamar was 11 of 34 shooting (32-percent) in the second half after going 15 of 35 (42-percent) in the first half.
Lamar freshman Nick Garth scored all 14 of his points in the first half and missed all five attempts he took in the second. The Cardinals raced out to an 11-0 lead to start the game only to see Incarnate Word chip away at the lead. The two teams were tied 43-43 at the half.
“We wanted to get out to a strong start,” Garth said. “We got open looks tonight, we just couldn’t knock them down.”
Lamar returns to the Montagne Center at 7 p.m. Monday against Abilene Christian (10-13, 5-5).
“Keep fighting and not giving up,” Price said is the way his team can rebound after the six-game losing skid. “At some point our time will come. That is all we can do. You lose a game, you come back and live to see another day. It is like any boxer. You know you are going into a game and you might get hit but you have to keep fighting if you expect to win.”

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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