BEAUMONT, Texas — After suffering their first loss of conference play to the New Orleans Privateers in their last outing, a four-point defeat in overtime, the Lamar Cardinals were out to make it a distant memory.
Thanks to Colton Weisbrod and Zjori Bosha, the Cardinals held down their home court in convincing fashion.
Weisbrod entered the game as the team’s leading scorer, averaging just under 15 points per contest as a junior college transfer. Against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions on Saturday afternoon, he had the best game of his young, but impressive, Division I career.
The junior finished the game shooting 14-of-19 from the field, and 6-of-7 from the line, recording a career-high 34 points in the process. To put his performance into perspective, no other Lamar player scored more than nine points on the night (Torey Noel).
Lamar raced out to an 18-point lead at halftime, and they held the Lions to 35.7% shooting on the night, en route to the 74-54 victory.
With the only exception being the opening minute of the game, the Cardinals led for most of the way. After the opening 20 minutes, Lamar held a commanding 44-28 lead over the Lions, much to the delight of their home crowd.
The second half was more of the same, as the Cardinals maintained their lead throughout. A pair of free throws from Cameron McGee with 1:58 left on the clock gave the Cardinals a 25-point lead, their biggest lead of the day.
In their 74-54 win, the Cardinals excelled on both ends of the floor. They shot 52.7% (29-of-55) from the field, and 45.5% (5-of-11) from three point range.
On defense, the Cardinals limited star guard Marlain Veal to just 8 points on 3-of-10 shooting for the Lions. They also forced the sophomore guard into committing six turnovers.
Both teams were turnover-prone, as Lamar committed 20 turnovers themselves, while the Lions gave the ball away on 22 occasions.
Jabbar Singleton led the way for Southeastern Louisiana, scoring a team-high 13 points to go along with 4 rebounds. Moses Greenwood added 12 points and 3 blocks in the loss.
Colton Weisbrod was the star of the show on Saturday, scoring a career-high 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting. He also added in 8 rebounds in the win. Zjori Bosha chipped in with 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks for another strong performance on both ends of the floor.
With the win, the Lamar Cardinals (10-6, 2-1) erased the memory of their overtime defeat at the hands of the Privateers in their last outing, and it was also their fifth win in their last six games. They return to the court on Wednesday night against the Incarnate Word Cardinals.
The loss was the second straight road defeat for the Southeastern Louisiana Lions (9-8, 2-2). They will close out their three game road swing on Thursday against the Abilene Christian Wildcats.
– T. Bennett