BEAUMONT, Texas – Junior T.J. Atwood scored a career-high 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and senior Colton Weisbrod added 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds as Lamar University defeated Jarvis Christian, 103-66, Thursday night at the Montagne Center. The victory moves LU to 3-0 for the first time since 2008-09 season.
“We got some good performances from several guys tonight,” said LU head coach Tic Price. “Atwood did a really a good job coming off the bench. I’m really happy for that young man. T.J. has been working hard and he took advantage of an opportunity. Colton did an outstanding job as well. I’m proud of this team tonight. We shared the ball really well and it was business as usual.”
The Cardinals torched the nets to the tune of 52 percent (40-of-77), while knocking down 11-of-27 (.407) three-point attempts. The only area where the Cardinals struggled Thursday was from the free throw line where they managed a season low 12-of-20 (.600).
In addition to their hot shooting, the Cardinals also dominated the glass. LU outrebounded their opponents, 51-33, including 19 offensive rebounds. Big Red’s 19 offensive boards led to a 27-10 advantage in second chance points.
Every Cardinal who checked in the game scored including four players in double figures. In addition to double-doubles from Atwood and Weisbrod, junior Josh Nzeakor scored 14 points and pulled down six rebounds in 14 minutes action. Junior Nick Garth added 13 and dished out seven assists.
“We’ve had a tough schedule to start the season with a lot of games in a very short period of time,” said Price. “I was happy that we were able to play a lot of guys tonight, and give some guys a rest.”
The Bulldogs were held to 25-of-63 (.397) from the field after shooting just under 42 percent in the final 20 minutes. JCC also converted 9-of-28 (.321) three-point attempts in the contest. The Bulldogs were led by 15 points from Chasten King and 13 from Eric Stewart.
Jarvis Christian was also hurt by an inability to hold onto the basketball Thursday night. The Cardinals forced their guests into 16 turnovers which were converted into 26 points.
“I felt like we came out of the locker room with a lot more energy tonight that we did on Tuesday,” said Price. “We felt like we needed to come out and set the tone early defensively. We set some goals for the game defensively and did some good things in the opening half, but I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t do a better job in the second half.”
It took the Red and White less than 5:30 to gain an edge over the Bulldogs and LU turned that advantage into a gaping hole moments later. Nzeakor gave the Cardinals a one-point lead with a basket in the paint, seconds later Weisbrod made it a three-point advantage with another layup. The Cardinals never looked back from that point pushing their advantage to 12 points less than nine minutes into the game. Big Red closed the half on a 25-7 run to take a 22-point advantage into the locker room. The Bulldogs were unable to draw any closer in the second half.
Beaumont native Cannon Broussard put the final touches on the Cardinals’ victory by knocking down his first career three-pointer to put LU over the 100-point plateau. Broussard tacked on another triple and finished the game with eight points and an steal.
The Cardinals return to action Sunday when they host Cal State Bakersfield in the third game of the current four-game homestand. The game against the Roadrunners will tip off at 3 p.m. from the Montagne Center and will be televised on ESPN3. It can also be heard live on Newstalk 560 KLVI.