BEAUMONT, Tex. — Finding a perfect balance can lead to success in many different areas of life, including on the basketball court.
On Tuesday, the Lamar Cardinals used a balanced offensive attack against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers as they launched a second-half comeback.
The Cardinals welcomed the Chanticleers to Beaumont, Texas for their 2017-18 home opener. Lamar opened the season with a seven-point road win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Friday afternoon, and were looking to start the season 2-0.
Coastal Carolina, on the other hand, were looking to play the role of spoiler. The Chanticleers routed Piedmont International in their home opener, 102-50, and were also looking to push their record to 2-0 early in 2017-18.
The visitors took a seven-point lead into the break, at 35-28. In the second frame, the Cardinals chipped away at the lead, and utilized a balanced attack to overtake the Chanticleers and pull away for the victory.
James Harrison came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points for Lamar, on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting night from beyond the arc, and the Cardinals outscored the Chanticleers by 13 points in the second frame.
Lamar moved to 2-0 on the season with a 66-60 comeback win over Coastal Carolina.
The Chanticleers opened the game on a 6-0 run, holding the Cardinals off the scoreboard for over four minutes in the process. Three different players scored in the run for Coastal Carolina, including Ajay Sanders, who capped the run with a layup.
Josh Nzeakor ended the Cardinals’ drought with a layup at the 15:35 mark.
Coastal Carolina maintained their lead throughout the entire first half. A three-point play from Amidou Bamba with 6:54 to play in the frame pushed their lead to 15 points, at 27-12. Lamar kept fighting, and managed to trim the deficit down to seven at the break, 35-28.
Early in the second half, the Chanticleers looked to put the game away. A three pointer from Matt Lindsey with 16:37 to play pushed the lead for Coastal Carolina to 12, at 44-32.
A pair of free throws from Colton Weisbrod with just over eight minutes to play in the game knotted the game for the first time since tip off, at 50-all. Shortly thereafter, a three pointer from Nick Garth with 4:44 to play gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game, at 57-55.
Down the stretch, Zjori Bosha put the team on his back and ensured that the Cardinals sent their fans home happy. Bosha scored five points over the final 1:01 of the game to secure the win for Lamar.
The Cardinals outscored the Chanticleers by 13 points in the second half, and Lamar scored the 66-60 come-from-behind win over Coastal Carolina.
James Harrison led the way for the Cardinals in a reserve role on Tuesday night. He went 6-for-8 from the floor, including a perfect 5-for-5 from three point range, for a team-high 17 points. Harrison added three rebounds in the win.
Zjori Bosha and Josh Nzeakor chipped in with 12 points apiece, and Lamar had seven players with at least six points.
For the Chanticleers, Jaylen Shaw matched Harrison with 17 points in the loss. Ajay Sanders added 13 points and seven rebounds.
With the win, Lamar (2-0) opened a four-game home swing on a high. The Cardinals welcome Jarvis Christian to town on Thursday night.
The loss sends Coastal Carolina (1-1) into the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase on the wrong foot. The Chanticleers open up the event on Thursday against the UT-San Antonio Roadrunners.
– T. Bennett