Jacks control glass, dominate Cards, 79-58

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — The Lamar men’s basketball team failed in its attempt to win consecutive Southland Conference games, dropping a 79-58 decision to Stephen F. Austin Monday night in the Montagne Center. The Cardinals (11-16/3-12 SLC) never found their offensive rhythm against the two-time defending conference champions.

LU turned the ball over 17 times and shot less than 37 percent from the field. SFA took advantage of Big Red’s mistakes converting the turnovers into 28 points.

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SFA also outrebounded the Red and White by 11, 46-35, including 20 offensive rebounds, which led to 17 second chance points. The Jacks shot just slightly better than LU from the field (22-of-59, .373), but knocked down 10 three-pointers. The visitors were also 25-of-32 (.781) from the free throw line, while LU struggled at the stripe knocking down less than 60 percent of their attempts.

LU forced the visitors into 15 turnovers, but couldn’t make them pay for their mistakes. The Cardinals converted the SFA turnovers into just 14 points.

The Cardinals never led in Monday’s contest falling by six early, but after a jumper from junior Lincoln Davis and free throw from classmate Marcus Owens LU trimmed the SFA lead down to three with just over 14 minutes remaining. The Lumberjacks responded by going on a 14-2 run over the next 4:30 to build a 15-point advantage. LU trimmed the deficit down to single digits on a Kevin Booze three-pointer with 6:52 remaining in the half, but the Jacks responded by pushing their lead back to double digits to take a 13-point lead into halftime.

Freshman Josh Nzeakor scored the first point of the second half from the free throw line to cut the deficit to 12 points, 42-30, but the Lumberjacks responded with a 20-11 run to take a 21-point lead and never looked back.

Nzeakor led the Cardinals with 11 points on 5-of-8 (.625) shooting. Senior Dontavious Sears scored nine points, while junior Preston Mattingly added eight. SFA finished the night with four players in double figures led by Thomas Walkup’s 18 points and 10 rebounds. Clide Geffrard came off the bench to score 14 for SFA, while C.J. Williams pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Cardinals return to action Saturday at Incarnate Word.

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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