Cards still need victory to get into tournament

Published 12:59 am Thursday, March 2, 2017

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT — Lamar’s men’s basketball team will step on the court of the Montagne Center for its 2016-17 home finale tonight when it hosts Nicholls State.

The Senior Night showdown is not only important in terms of LU trying to lockdown a spot in the Southland Conference Championship tournament, but it also serving as fan appreciation night. Admission to the game is only $1 to all fans as a way to say thank you for your support.

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It has been a rollercoaster year for Tic Price’s squad, in his third season on the sidelines. Big Red has experienced tremendous highs followed by heartbreaking lows this season. The highs have included wins over Oregon State and SLC preseason favorite Sam Houston State. The team has also had to deal emotional low points, which included two overtime home losses in league play to go along with a stunning setback at Abilene Christian on a half-court buzzer beater.

The 2016-17 version of the Cardinals (16-13, 8-8 SLC) have proven to the league their ability to bounce back.

LU needs one more win, or a loss by Central Arkansas, to assure itself of a spot in the Southland Conference tournament. If the Cardinals can get by Nicholls (14-15, 7-9 SLC) it would be the team’s first trip to the conference championships since the 2011-12 season when it brought home the title.

For the Cardinals to earn that spot, they will have to go through a Nicholls squad that is playing some of its best basketball of the season. The Colonels have won two consecutive, and three of their past four games to move into the eighth spot in the league standings. Their two wins last week took Nicholls from 11th in the standings and put them in a position of trying hold off Northwestern State and Central Arkansas for the final spot.