LU men fall to Nicholls; Lady Cards win

Published 9:01 am Thursday, January 9, 2020

BEAUMONT, Texas – Junior Ellis Jefferson came off the bench to score a career-high 13 points but it wasn’t enough as Lamar University dropped a 61-52 decision to Nicholls Wednesday evening at the Montagne Center. For the second-straight contest, LU’s opponent was able to gain some distance late in the contest for the victory

“It’s hard to beat a team when you cough the ball up 23 times,” said head coach Tic Price. “They also beat us up in the paint pretty good – getting outscored 30-10. It all comes down to their effort was a lot better than ours. We did a real good job on (Dexter) McClanahan in first half. The game plan was to deny him the basketball, but in the second we played as if that wasn’t the plan. As a result, he got some very big buckets at key times of the game.”

The Cardinals finished the night 18-of-49 (.367) from the field, with eight of the field goals coming from beyond the three-point arc. It was the Cardinals struggles to hold onto the basketball Wednesday that led to their downfall. Big Red turned the ball over 23 times which led to 26 Nicholls points.

The Colonels were 23-of-59 (.390) from the field but finished the game shooting better than 48 percent in the second half. Nicholls also got hot from long range in the second half knocking down four of their seven three-pointers. The visitors found an advantage in the low post outscoring LU 30-10 in the paint.

Along with his 13 points, Jefferson also dished out a career-high seven assists. Jefferson was joined in double figures by senior T.J. Atwood (11 points and 11 rebounds) and freshman Anderson Kopp (11 points). The Colonels were led by Dexter McClanahan’s 17 points – all coming in the second half.

The Colonels opened the game with a five-point lead just over eight minutes into the contest. The Red and White responded with a 9-0 run to take four-point advantage – a run that lasted just over three minutes. Big Red took a four-point lead into the under-eight media timeout and neither team could gain more than a two possession lead for the remainder of the half as the Colonels took a three-point lead, 26-23, into the locker room.

After the Cardinals scored the first four points of the second half, the Colonels answered with a 10-2 run to reclaim a six-point lead, 36-30, with just under 15 minutes remaining. Nicholls built their lead to as many as eight with just under seven on the clock. The Cardinals responded with a Jefferson three-ball to trim the deficit to five. After a Kopp three-pointer, LU had the deficit down to four with 4:42 remaining but that would be as close as Nicholls would get as they stretched the lead back to nine before the final horn.

The Cardinals will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Houston to take on Houston Baptist. The game against the Huskies will tip off at 7 p.m. from Sharp Gym.


Lady Cards win

THIBODAUX, La. – With four Cardinals in double-digit scoring figures, Lamar defeated Nicholls on the road to capture their first conference win of 2020, 84-78.

The Cardinals got off to a slow start in the opening minutes. After the first quarter media, the Cardinal offense started connecting on shots. The Colonels did not go down without as fight as they shot 50 percent during the opening quarter. Nicholls took the advantage into the second quarter, 20-16.

Offensive duo in senior Amber Vidal and sophomore Angel Hastings got to work in the second quarter. The duo put up six points within seconds of each other to help push the Cardinal lead further. Junior Jadyn Pimentel stole the ball at critical times that led to big plays by the Cardinals.

Lamar was able to control the third quarter, going on a 16-3 run to end the frame. Hastings was able to connect on a huge three that helped seal the third quarter for Lamar, 64-58. Pimentel picked up two steals in the quarter to help the transition game.

Senior Briana Laidler had a standout performance as she finished the night with 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. This marks her second double-double this season with the previous coming against Howard Payne when she finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

From Coach Aqua Franklin:

On Laidler leading the way with a double-double to the win:

“It’s always a great feeling to win. Winning is hard, so you must celebrate them, especially when you are on the road. I’m so happy for Briana (Laidler) and her efforts tonight. Perfect 5-5 from the floor & a monster on the glass. She is our most athletic player and if she stays out of foul trouble, I believe she is capable of doung that every game.”

On the ability to share the ball and four double-digit scoring performances:

“The beautiful thing about this team is you never know whose night it’s going to be. Whoever is hot at a certain time, they do a great job of finding each other. Pimentel lead us in the first half, while Angel and Amber took us home in the second half. It was a great team win. We also had great minutes and great looks from our freshman PG Kayla Mitchell.”

Points Parade: The Cardinals had four players in double-digit scoring. Sophomore Hastings had a game-high 20 points. This marks her second consecutive contest with 20-points or more.

Up Next: The Cardinals will head home for a Saturday matchup against Houston Baptist on January 11. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (CT) and will be broadcasted on ESPN3.