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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Cardinals taking their shot at ACC’s Jackets

Lamar sports information

BEAUMONT – The Lamar men’s basketball team will take its 1-0 record on the road against some very tough competition when it travels to Atlanta on Friday to take on Georgia Tech. The Cardinals will look to make it two straight the start the season after an impressive 79-59 victory over Huston-Tillotson Tuesday night at the Montagne Center.

Led by 19 points from senior Josh Nzeakor, the Cardinals shot nearly 52 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond three-point arc (10-of-25) on their way to victory. Big Red shot at least 50 percent from the field in each half. Nzeakor was one of four Cardinals to score in double figures for the Red and White. Senior Nick Garth came off the bench to score 15 points while junior Jordan Hunter added 11 and classmate Mike Kolawole chipped in 10.

Friday will serve as the season opener for Georgia Tech, which has only played a preseason game to this point (defeating Florida Tech). The Yellow Jackets enter the 2018-19 season looking to improve upon a 13-19 (.406) season that saw them record a 6-12 (.333) mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Georgia Tech struggled down the stretch last season dropping eight of their final 10 games.

The Yellow Jackets enter the new season in a similar fashion to LU. Georgia Tech will be looking to replace several members of last year’s squad. The Yellow Jackets return just one of their top five scorers from a season ago – Jose Alvardo (12. 1 ppg and 3.1 rpg) – and will also be looking to replace their top two rebounders.

As a team, Georgia Tech averaged better than 65 points per game in the 2017-18 season but got outscored by four points per night. The Yellow Jackets were a solid team on the glass pulling down 34 rebounds per contest.

The game against Georgia Tech will begin at 6:30 p.m. Central from McCamish Pavilion. It will be televised on the ACC Network Extra.

Two nights later, the Cardinals will be in action when they travel to Greenville, North Carolina, to take on East Carolina. Similar to the game against Tech, Sunday’s game will mark the first time LU has squared off against East Carolina on the basketball court.

The Pirates are 1-0 on the year after an impressive 81-56 victory over Delaware State Tuesday. ECU will host James Madison Friday before taking on Big Red. The Pirates did a strong job of spreading out the scoring in their season opener with four guys in double figures and seven who scored at least eight points in the game.

ECU shot nearly 43 percent from the field but was an electric 53 percent from three-point range. The Pirates also held their guests to a 19-of-57 (.333) percent performance in the season opener.

The game against ECU will tip off at 3 p.m. Central from Williams Arena. The contest will also be televised on ESPN3.