After a two-game road swing on the West Coast, the Lamar Cardinals were happy to be back inside the friendly confines of the Montagne Centre in Beaumont, TX.
Their two game trip out west saw them take on the Oregon State Beavers and the Fresno State Bulldogs. Lamar kicked off the trip with a 63-60 win over the Beavers, thank in large part to forcing 27 turnovers.
Against the Bulldogs, the Cardinals weren’t able to recreate the magic they had against Oregon State, falling 83-64 in Fresno.
Back at home, Lamar welcomed the UTSA Roadrunners to town before they embark on a four-game road swing that takes them into the month of December.
Playing in front of their home crowd energized the Cardinals. Five players scored in double-figures on Tuesday night, including a game-high 24 points from Nick Garth, and Lamar rolled to the 78-58 win over the UTSA Roadrunners.
After the Roadrunners took a slim 4-2 lead early in the first half, it was all about the Cardinals.
Torey Noel hit a pair of free throws at the 17:27 mark to tie the game at 4-all, and it kickstarted a run for the Cardinals that spanned almost five minutes. Lamar reeled off a 15-0 run, taking a 17-4 lead before the Roadrunners found the scoreboard again.
Lucas O’Brien got a layup to fall with under 7 minutes to play in the first half, getting the Roadrunners to within six, at 22-16. They would get to within three points a few minutes later, thanks to a jumper from Giovanni De Nicolao.
The Roadrunners wouldn’t get closer than three points the rest of the way.
Lamar was able to stretch their lead to 11 by halftime, with a pair of free throws from Joey Frenchwood sending them to the locker room with a 32-21 advantage.
As the second half got under way, the Cardinals looked to build on their lead. Credit UTSA for continuing to chip away, trying to stay in the game. They got to within three points with 12:25 to play in the game, prompting a timeout from the Cardinals.
Out of the timeout, the game went from a three-point deficit to an eight-point deficit in the blink of an eye.
A pair of free throws from Colton Weisbrod and a three point jumper from Frenchwood stretched the lead to 48-40 for the Cardinals.
Lamar wouldn’t let the Roadrunners get within striking distance again, putting a stranglehold on the game over the final 10-plus minutes.
When all was said and done, the Lamar Cardinals used a balanced attack that saw five different players score in double-figures, leading them to the 78-58 win over the UTSA Roadrunners.
Sophomore guard Nick Garth led the way on the night, scoring a game-high 24 points, on 6-of-12 shooting from three point range.
Three JUCO transfers put together impressive games against the Roadrunners. Colton Weisbrod continued his strong start to the season, recording 13 points an 8 rebounds. Torey Noel (10 points) and Joey Frenchwood (12 points) each recorded their first double-digit scoring games with Lamar in the win.
As for the Roadrunners, Jeff Beverly scored a team-high 17 points, while Nick Allen recorded a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.
It was a successful stop at home for the Lamar Cardinals (3-1, 0-0), who now embark on a four-game road swing that will take them into December. Up next for the Cardinals is a game against the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Friday night.
The UTSA Roadrunners (1-4, 0-0) take on the Texas State Bobcats, also on Friday night.
– T. Bennett