BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University head coach Alvin Brooks’ young Cardinal squad got a scare Monday evening from St. Thomas, but Big Red walked away with a thrilling, 63-61, victory to start the year 1-0.
Junior Chris Pryor led the Red and White with 23 points and was joined in double figures by classmate Jakevion Buckley (17). The junior duo led an offense that finished the night 21-of-54 (.389) from the field. Unfortunately, the Cardinals struggled to find the range from three-point land converting just 5-of-20 attempts.
UST utilized a balanced scoring attack as only one player finished the night in double-figures – Nick Anderson – and ended the game with 12 points. The Celts were 22-of-65 (.338) from the field, but nine of their 22 makes were of the three-point variety.
Neither team gained an advantage on the glass, as both teams pulled down 41. Each team finished with one player in double-figures on the glass. Junior Terry Anderson led LU with 10 rebounds while freshman Jason Thirdkill, Jr. grabbed eight. Anderson just missed a double-double with nine points.
Neither team could gain more than a five-point lead, and the defenses prevented the other squad from going on extended runs. UST managed only six consecutive points, while the Cards had a seven-point run in the first half.
With 75 seconds remaining on the clock, Anderson drew a foul on a rebound and went to the line to shoot. He made the first giving the Cardinals a one-point lead. On the other end of the floor, Thirdkill blocked a layup that led to a Nate Calmese layup giving the Red and White a three-point lead. The Celts managed to tie the game with a three-pointer with 18 seconds, but LU got the ball to Pryor who drew a foul and went to the line to shoot two. Pryor hit both free throws to ice the game.
The Cardinals will be back in action Friday when they travel to Fort Worth, Texas to take on TCU. The game against the Horned Frogs will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on Big 12 Now (ESPN+).