Cards closer to Katy after beating Northwestern State

Published 1:04 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lamar sports information

NATCHITOCHES, La. – Lamar got out to one of its best starts of the season and never looked back in recording an 88-68 victory at Northwestern State on Wednesday evening, inching its way closer to locking up a berth in the Southland Conference Championships next month in Katy.

The Cardinals’ (16-12, 8-7 Southland) magic number is down to just one after Thursday’s victory in Prather Coliseum. LU needs to win just one more game or have Nicholls and McNeese lose one more to lock up their first Southland tournament appearance since the 2011-12 season.

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Thursday’s victory also marked the Red and White’s first win in Natchitoches, La., since the 2007-08 season. It is also the first time LU has swept the season series from the Demons since the 2007-08 season. With the victory, the Cardinals will close the regular season with an above .500 record.

The Cardinals finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field, including a 9-of-23 performance from three-point range. LU also outrebounded the Demons, 39-30, and got a huge lift from its bench outscoring the Demon reserves by nine.

The Cardinals finished the night with three players in double figures, led by sophomore Nick Garth’s 17 points. Junior Colton Weisbrod added 16 points, while classmate Joey Frenchwood chipped in 11. Junior Zjori Bosha finished the night just shy of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

The Demons ended the day shooting 41 percent from the field, after a 16-of-29 (.552) second-half performance but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 26-percent effort in the opening half. The Demons were also held to a 4-of-20 (.200) performance from the three-point range. Zeek Woodley, who was playing in his first game since suffering an injury in December, led the Demons with 16 points.

The Cardinals completely erased the memory of their slow start at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi jumping out to an early six-point lead and never looked back for the remainder of the opening half. Big Red knocked down four of its first five attempts, which allowed the Cards to overcome three early turnovers.

After a Bailey Walker three-pointer – the Demons’ lone triple of the opening half – cut the Cardinals lead down to five, 15-10, with 12:35 remaining in the half LU rattled off 16-5 run to build a 16-point advantage with just under nine minutes remaining in the half.

The Cardinals got three-point baskets from Lincoln Davis, Frenchwood, Garth and two from Marcus Owens as they opened the game knocking down 10 of their first 17 attempts from the field and four of the first seven from three-point range pushing their advantage to 20 points with 4:20 remaining in the first half.

The Demons had no answer in the opening half as they went into the locker room down 20, 43-23. Northwestern State could muster just a 26 percent performance in the first 20 minutes, and just 1-of-12 (.083) from three-point range. The Demons were also outrebounded, 21-16, in the opening half and turned the ball over eight times which the Cardinals converted into seven points.

Northwestern State opened the second half on a 7-0 run to immediately trim the Cards’ lead down to 13, 43-30.

LU turned to Weisbrod to stop the run. The Nederland native scored the team’s next six points and sparked an 8-1 run to restore order. The 13-point deficit would be as close to victory as Northwestern State could get as LU cruised to the 20-point victory.

The Cardinals will be back in action Saturday when they return home to host Houston Baptist. The game against the Huskies is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. from the Montagne Center.

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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