MEN’S BASKETBALL: Weisbrod warms up for 25 points in close victory

Published 10:13 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Lamar sports information

NATCHITOCHES, La. – Senior Colton Weisbrod scored 25 points, including 17 in the second half, and pulled down 10 rebounds as Lamar defeated Northwestern State, 79-75, Wednesday evening in a hostile environment at Prather Coliseum. It’s the first time the Cardinals have won four straight against Northwestern State since the 2001-03 seasons.

The Cardinals shot better than 50 percent in the second half to finish the night 27-of-62 (.435) for the game, including eight three-pointers. The Cardinals took advantage of Northwestern State’s 18 turnovers cashing the mistakes in for 26 points. LU also outscored Northwestern State, 32-24, in paint.

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The Demons shot 50 percent from the field but attempted 14 fewer shots due to their 18 turnovers. Despite the hot shooting, Northwestern State finished the night with just three three-pointers. The Demons got a boost from their bench outscoring the LU reserves, 32-18.

In addition to Weisbrod, the Cardinals got 18 points from senior James Harrison and 10 from senior Torey Noel. Czar Perry led four Demons in double figures with 16 points.

“Northwestern State is always a very tough place to play,” said LU head coach Tic Price. “This team is much better than their record and we knew they would come and give us everything they had. Northwestern State is a very good rebounding team, especially on the offensive glass. I thought we did a really job on the boards tonight. Colton gave us a hard-fought effort. He was relentless.”

The Cardinals struggled out of the gate missing on their first five attempts and turned the ball over twice, and Northwestern State took full advantage of the opportunity. The Demons converted three of their first six attempts to take a 7-0 lead to start the game.

Despite Big Red’s slow start, the Cards didn’t allow their hosts to run and hide. The 7-0 start would be the Demons’ largest lead of the half, as LU slowly started to peck away at the deficit. The Cardinals got their first basket on a Harrison three-ball with 15:45 on the clock and tied the game moments later on a Joey Frenchwood triple.

The Cardinals overcame a 4-of-15 start to take their first lead of the game on two Bosha free throws. The Red and White continued to add to their lead and took a seven-point advantage into the locker room, 39-32, following a Noel basket at the buzzer.

The Cardinals finished the half shooting better than 35 percent, and outrebounded Northwestern State by one, but nearly half of LU’s rebounds were on the offensive end of the floor. The Cardinals got the job done at the free throw line converting 11 of their first 13 attempts (.846).

After their hot start, the Demons finished the half 10 of 23 (.435) from the field, with just one three-pointer.

The roles flipped to start the second half as LU immediately pushed its lead to 10 less than 2 minutes in. The Cardinals kept Northwestern State at arm’s length but the Demons were able to chip away at the lead via the foul situation. With 7:32 remaining the Cardinals had been called for twice as many fouls (10-5), but the Red and White found an answer in Harrison. The Houston native hit consecutive threes to push the lead back to nine.

The Demons never gave up and made it a single possession game with less than a minute to play. Northwestern State’s Ishmael Lane converted an and-one to cut the deficit to two points with 45 seconds remaining. Northwestern State managed to get the ball back with 19 seconds but Frenchwood stole the ball from Brandon Hutton and got fouled. Frenchwood hit both free throws to put the game away.

The Cardinals return to action Saturday when they travel to Huntsville to take on Sam Houston State. The game against the Bearkats will tip off at 6:15 p.m. from the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.