MEN’S BASKETBALL: Bears’ 12 treys big in 7-point win over Cards

Published 7:19 pm Saturday, January 12, 2019

Lamar sports information
CONWAY, Ark. – Lamar rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to take a one-point lead with less than 7 minutes remaining, but Central Arkansas converted 12 three-pointers for the 75-68 victory Saturday afternoon at the Farris Center.

“We knew coming into this game UCA was a good three-point shooting team and would put up a lot of threes, which is why we really tried to crowd them out there,” said LU head coach Tic Price. “At the end of the day we just didn’t get the job done defensively. We have to improve defensively but we are not going to let these three losses define us as a team.”

The Cardinals (8-9, 1-3 Southland) were 22 of 58 (.379) from the field, and 5 of 15 (.333) on three-pointers. Big Red saw an improved effort on the free throw line converting 19-of-27 (.704) from the stripe. LU was strong in the paint holding a 28-20 advantage in paint points.

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The Cardinals also dominated the glass recording a 34-30 advantage in rebounds, including 17 offensive boards. LU’s work on the glass led to a 20-5 advantage in second chance points.

Senior Nick Garth came off the bench to lead the team with 18 points. He was one of four Cardinals in double figures. Garth was joined by junior Christian Barrett (16 points), senior Josh Nzeakor (13 points) and junior T.J. Atwood (10 points).

The Bears finished the day 26 of 49 (.531) from the field and was just as potent from three-point range converting at a 52 percent clip. UCA also turned the ball over 16 times which the Cardinals converted into 18 points. UCA was led by 14 points from Thatch Unruh. He was one of four Bears in double figures.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair that saw six lead changes and five ties. Neither team could gain more than a five-point advantage, and the Cardinals held the lead for more than 10 minutes of the opening half (games was tied for 4:29 of the half) but even with that Central Arkansas managed to take a three-point lead into the locker room, 37-34.

The Bears took advantage of consecutive baskets, including a three-pointer from DeAndre Jones early in the second half to build a nine-point lead less than 5 minutes into the second. The Cardinals could get no closer than three points until the 6:42 mark of the second half. The Red and White rattled off an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead, 57-56, but the Bears responded with an 8-0 run of its own to forge back out in front by seven with four minutes remaining. LU never got closer than six after that.

The Cardinals return to action Wednesday when they travel to Hammond, Louisiana, to take on Southeastern Louisiana. The game against the Lions will tip off at 7 p.m. from the University 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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