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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Cardinals avoid big collapse at home

Lamar finished in the clutch when it had to.

Jordan Hunter hit 6 of 6 free throw sin the final 24 seconds, and the Cardinals protected a lead that was once as big as 15 points Wednesday in beating Northwestern State 75-70 at Beaumont’s Montagne Center before a crowd of 1,860.

The Cardinals (13-12, 6-6 Southland) have won five of their past seven games and two straight to move into sixth place in the conference, but they had to stave off a surge by the Demons (9-16, 4-8). Nick Garth led Lamar with 23 points and four assists, Hunter had 19 points — finishing 9 of 10 at the free throw line — and Josh Nzeakor scored 17 points, making 7 of 10 shots from the field in the process.

Christian Barrett nearly gave Lamar a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Lamar built a 40-31 lead at halftime, but Northwestern State crept back in the game making 16 of 30 second-half shots. The Demons shot 27 for 53 (50.9 percent) from the floor, including 7 of 17 from three-point range, and made 9 of 11 free throws.

Garth shot half of Lamar’s three-point attempts and had half of the Cardinals’ makes, going 3 of 6. The Cards shot 24 of 54 (44.4) from the floor, including 6 for 12 from outside, and made 21 of 27 free throws.

Malik Metoyer led the Demons with 12 points and six rebounds. Ishmael Lane had 11 points and eight rebounds and La Terrance Reed 10 points in the defeat.

— I.C. Murrell

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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