THIBODAUX, La. — Sophomore Anderson Kopp scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in a heartbreaking Southland Conference setback Wednesday evening at Nicholls. Despite a hot start to the game, Lamar University couldn’t overcome a late rally by the Colonels falling, 76-69.
The Cardinals finished the game shooting 27-of-71 (.380) from the field, with just five three-pointers. Big Red took advantage of their opportunities from the free throw line converting 10-of-12 (.833).
Nicholls ended the night converting 49 percent of their attempts, but the big difference in the game came on the glass. Nicholls outrebounded LU, 45-37, including a 22-14 effort in the second half.
Kopp was one of five Cardinals to score in double figures, as senior Avery Sullivan also notched a double-double. Sullivan finished the night with15 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Kasen Harrison added 13 points, while junior Davion Buster added 11 points and junior Quinlan Bennett scored 10.
The Colonels were led by 19 points from Najee Garvin.
The Cardinals opened the game on fire knocking down seven of their first 10 attempts to build a 15-4 lead. While Big Red was quickly out of the gate, the hometown Colonels stumbled converting just two of their first 10 attempts, including six consecutive misses from long range.
The Cardinals watched their lead balloon to 15 points (23-8) before Nicholls began to battle back. The Colonels rattled off a 13-2 run to pull within four, 25-21, with less than eight to play in the opening half. Nicholls’ run coincided with a 1-for-10 stint for the Cardinals which ended with a basket from Sullivan in traffic.
The Red and White scored the game’s next six points to restore order and went into the locker room with a 33-29 advantage.
After a hot start to the half, LU finished knocking down 14-of-36 (.389) attempts, including three triples (all belonging to Buster). The Cardinals held a slim advantage on the glass at halftime, 23-22, in what was a fairly clean half by both squads. There were just six turnovers between the two schools and a total of 11 fouls called in the opening 20 minutes.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with LU building back its double-digit lead. The Cardinals led by 10 when Nicholls rattled off a 13-3 run to tie the game at 43 just over five minutes into the half. The Colonels took their first lead of the game on a Ty Gordon triple with 11:50 to play (54-51). The Colonels pushed their lead to as many as nine points with 4:22 remaining. Big Red was unable to get the deficit back within single possession in the game’s closing minutes.
The Cardinals return to action Saturday when the host Houston Baptist. The game against the Huskies will tip off at 2 p.m. from the Montagne Center.