Last year, the Lamar Cardinals went on the road and scored a 73-58 victory over the Liberty Flames.
On Monday night, the Flames were looking for a little retribution against the Cardinals, but this time, the contest was in Beaumont, TX.
Both the Cardinals and Flames have had their ups and downs in the early part of the 2016-17 season. Lamar entered Monday night having lost four of their last five contests, while Liberty was 0-3 on the road.
Lamar head coach Tic Price was sitting on 199 career head coaching victories, and the Cardinals were looking to get him to the 200 milestone on their home floor.
Behind 22 points from Nick Garth, and a double-double from junior guard Joey Frenchwood, the Cardinals made sure that Price didn’t have to wait any longer to reach the career milestone.
Lamar handed the Flames an 82-65 defeat on Monday night, giving Price his 200th career win in the process.
Garth finished the game shooting 7-of-8 from the field, and of which were from three point range, recording a game-high 22 points off the bench in the process.
From the outset of the game, the Cardinals were hot from three point range. Over the first four-plus minutes, the Cardinals went on a 12-2 run, capped off by a three pointer from Zjori Bosha.
They extended their lead to 22-9 before the 11-minute mark of the first half, thanks to a layup from Josh Nzeakor.
Liberty continued to fight, and a layup from Ryan Kemrite trimmed the deficit down to five points, at 25-20. Five quick points from forward Dorian Chatman pushed the lead for Lamar back to 10.
The Flames would get to within three points in the closing minutes of the first half, but they weren’t able to take a lead of their own. Lamar pushed their lead back to seven before the break, 39-32.
In the second half, it was more of the same. The Cardinals didn’t allow the Flames to create any sort of consistent momentum on the offensive end, as they seemingly always had an answer for whatever Liberty threw at them.
A three point jumper from Terrance Hubby with 12:12 to play in the game gave the Cardinals a 16-point lead, and they never looked back.
Lamar cruised in the second half, and scored the 82-65 win over Liberty.
The game marked the 200th win for head coach Tic Price, but it was also a milestone game for junior guard Joey Frenchwood. He recorded 10 points and 12 assists for his first career double-double for the Cardinals in the win.
Five different Cardinals scored in double figures, and Lamar shot 62.8% from the field and 60.0% from three point range as a team.
Ryam Kemrite and A.C. Reid scored 15 points apiece to lead the way for the Flames. Reid connected on five three pointers, which was a season-high for the guard.
John Dawson chipped in with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the loss.
With the win, the Lamar Cardinals (6-5, 0-0) are a perfect 4-0 on their home floor, while the Liberty Flames (5-7, 0-0) are still winless on the road in 2016-17 (0-4).
Both teams return to the court on Wednesday night for the last time before the Christmas break. The Flames are on the road to take on the Houston Cougars, while the Cardinals continue a three-game homestand with a contest against the Arlington Baptist Patriots.
– T. Bennett