BEAUMONT, Texas — Lamar University led by six points with 14 seconds remaining but missed opportunities in closing seconds cost the Cardinals as they dropped a five-point (80-75) overtime decision to defending regular-season champion Sam Houston State Wednesday evening in the Montagne Center.
“We didn’t pass the toughness test down the stretch tonight,” said LU head coach Tic Price. “You have to make your free throws and we didn’t do that. Defensively, you have to make stops, and we didn’t do that either. When it came to crunch time, we were not consistent and they made the plays that they needed to win the game. You have to give credit to Sam Houston State tonight.”
The Cardinals opened the game struggling from the field in the first half converting just 11-of-33 (.333) attempts, including just two three-pointers, but picked up the pace in the second half. Big Red shot just under 39 percent for the game following an 11-of-25 (.440) effort in the second half.
The Bearkats converted 50 percent of their attempts (30-of-60) on the night after a 13-of-24 (.542) start to the game. SHSU also found a rhythm from long range knocking down 10-of-25 (.400) three-pointers. Sam Houston outrebounded the Cards by two, 40-38, but the Cardinals finished the night with a 12-3 advantage in terms of second chance points.
The Cardinals forced SHSU into 25 turnovers and cashed the mistakes in for 25 points on the night.
Senior V.J. Holmes led all scorers with his 19 points on 4-of-6 (.667) shooting. It ties his career high which he set last time out at Houston Baptist. Classmate T.J. Atwood fouled out of the game but not before he recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Anderson Kopp added 12, while junior Avery Sullivan just missed another double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Chad Bowie led five Bearkats in double figures with his 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He also pulled down a game-high seven rebounds. SHSU’s Kai Mitchell and Dainan Swoope each added 14.
The Cardinals will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Corpus Christi, Texas to take on the Islanders. The game against A&M-Corpus Christi will tip off at 3:30 p.m. from the American Bank Center. It can also be heard live on Newstalk 560 KLVI.