PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Junior Colton Weisbrod scored a career-high 25 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, and classmate Torey Noel added 18 points and dished out 10 assists to lead the Lamar University men’s basketball team to a 91-83 victory over Prairie View A&M Friday at the William Nicks Gymnasium.
Weisbrod and Noel were two of four Cardinals to score in double figures as Big Red shot better than 54 percent from the field (30-of-55), including a 9-of-17 (.529) effort from beyond the arc. LU’s duo was joined in double figures by sophomores Dorian Chatman and Nick Garth. Chatman scored 14, while Garth chipped in 12 all in the second half.
The Panthers (2-4) were able to keep pace with LU for the majority of the game due to their own strong shooting. PVAMU finished the night 33-of-63 (.524) from the field and was 9-of-20 (.450) from beyond the arc. The Panthers were led by Zachery Hamilton’s 29 points on 7-of-13 shooting from beyond the three-point line.
The victory keeps the Cardinals’ (4-1) best start since the 2008-09 season alive. That season LU opened the year 5-0.
“This was a very tough game at times, but regardless we came out with the win and that is the most important thing,” said LU head coach Tic Price. “Colton Weisbrod did an excellent job tonight. They had to double-team him because he played like a beast in the paint. Prairie View is a very tough team to play, especially at their place. There were a lot of distractions today but I’m happy with the win.
“We need to do a better job at the free throw line. You have to take care of the little things. That is one area we should’ve taken care of tonight but didn’t. If we hit our free throws the game isn’t as close down the stretch,” added Price.
Senior Marcus Owens got the scoring started with a three-pointer off the glass 12 seconds into the game. The basket sparked a 12-2 run to start the contest for the Red and White, but Prairie View didn’t allow the Cardinals to run and hide. The Panthers responded with a 15-2 run of their own.
PVAMU’s rally was sparked by a three-pointer from Hamilton at the 15:48 mark of the opening half. The Panthers run continued until junior Joey Frenchwood answered with a three-ball with 11:25 remaining in the half. Frenchwood’s basket sparked 10-0 run for the Cardinals. PVAMU forged its way back out in front until Frenchwood hit another three, followed by a three from junior Christian Albright to give the Cards back the advantage, 43-42, late in the half. The two threes were part of a 16-2 run as the Cardinals took a 49-42 lead into the locker room.
Both the teams finished the half scorching the nets. LU shot 18-of-33 (.545) from the field in the opening half, including a 4-of-9 (.444) mark from beyond the arc. The Panthers were 19-of-33 (.576) from the field and 3-of-7 (.429) from beyond the arc.
It was a similar story as the two teams started the second half. After the Panthers scored the first three points of the half, the Cardinals went on an 18-11 run. Following some confusion over LU free throws, which saw Chatman only get one attempt after getting fouled in the act, play was resumed for 55 seconds. The officials then stopped the game and went to the replay where Chatman was awarded his second free throw attempt.
Following the delay which took nearly 15 minutes, sophomore Nick Garth got hot hitting consecutive threes in less than 60 seconds to give LU an 18-point advantage, 76-58, with just over eight minutes remaining.
The Panthers didn’t go quietly as Hamilton got hot from beyond the arc. Hamilton hit three consecutive triples to spark a 13-3 run to cut the Cards’ advantage to single digits, 80-71, with 5:30 remaining in the contest. PVAMU stayed on the attack cutting LU’s advantage down to a single point at the 3:03 mark.
“Hamilton is a very good basketball player,” said Price. “We knew coming into the game we were going to have to locate him quicker and present shot pressure. We did not pressure the shot enough tonight. When we switched on defense the player on the switch didn’t get out quick enough.”
The Cardinals ended the drought when Chatman got free underneath the basket to score a layup and get fouled. He converted the three-point play to give LU an 85-81 lead with 2:40 remaining. The Cardinals hit their free throws down the stretch to lock up the eight-point victory.
LU returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Idaho State. The game against the Bengals will tip off at 7:05 p.m. (8:05 p.m. Beaumont time) from Holt Arena. It can be heard live on Newstalk 560 KLVI.
(© 2016 KBMT)