LU freshman Jadyn Pimentel prepares to drive on an SFA defender during Saturday’s, 79-65, victory in the Montagne Center. UP photo by Matt Beadle.

LU freshman Jadyn Pimentel prepares to drive on an SFA defender during Saturday’s, 79-65, victory in the Montagne Center. UP photo by Matt Beadle.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The Lamar University Lady Cardinals used a balanced scoring effort to move into sole possession of first place in the Southland Conference women’s basketball standings with a hard-fought 79-65 victory over the visiting Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks in the Montagne Center, Saturday.

The Lady Cards  had five players score in double figures as they moved a half-game ahead of the Ladyjacks. The win also extended LU’s school-record home winning streak to 25 games. 

LU rallied from a 35-30 halftime deficit in front of a spirited crowed that featured more than 50 Lamar women’s basketball alumnae on a day when three former LU greats became the first women’s basketball players to have their jerseys retired.

The Lady Cards also pulled out the win on a day when its top two scorers, Moe Kinard and Chastadie Barrs, saw limited minutes due to foul trouble. Freshman guard Jadyn Pimentel stepped up to fill the void left by Barrs, finishing with 17 points.

Kiandra Bowers continued her hot play, posting her eighth double-double of the season and 32 of her career, as she had 14 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. 

DeA’ngela Mathis also had 17 points for LU while Baileigh O’Dell had 11 points off the bench and Kinard added 10.

The Lady Cardinals had a 43-32 rebounding edge against the Ladyjacks, who came into Saturday’s contest outrebounding their opponents by an average of 2.8 per game. Mathis contributed to LU’s total with nine rebounds.

LU outscored SFA 49-30 in the second half.  The Lady Cardinals outscored the Ladyjacks 15-6 in points off turnovers over the second half. Barrs was held scoreless, but had a game-high five assists and four steals in just 19 minutes.

The Lady Cards wrapped up their four-game homestand when they hosted Northwestern State at 7 p.m., Wednesday. Scores were unavailable at print time. The Lady Cardinals will hit the road to face Sam Houston, Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Senior Zjori Bosha scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, junior Josh Nzeakor added 16 points and 11 rebounds to guide Lamar University to a 76-54 victory over Stephen F. Austin, Saturday in the Montagne Center. The victory snapped a 10-game slide against the Lumberjacks which dated back to the 2012 Southland Conference Championships.

In addition to Bosha and Nzeakor, senior James Harrison scored 13 points, while junior Nick Garth scored 11.

SFA scored the first basket of the game.  LU followed with a free throw from senior Colton Weisbrod and a basket from Bosha. The Cardinals would push their advantage to four points before SFA rattled off a small 7-2 run to take a one-point lead. That small advantage would last 28 seconds and would be wiped out by a Bosha three-pointer.

Bosha’s three sparked an 18-4 run that saw LU surge out in front by 13 points. The Cardinals didn’t allow the lead to slip below double figures for the rest of the half as they pushed the advantage to as many as 16 before taking a 13-point lead into the locker room.

SFA trimmed the lead down to single digits, 43-34, just two minutes into the second half but LU responded with two free throws from Harrison and Bosha. 

After allowing their guests to pull within nine points, the Cardinals rattled off an 11-2 run to take an 18-point lead with 11:33 remaining. The Lumberjacks never got closer than 14 after that as LU pushed its lead to 20 with just over seven minutes remaining. The Cardinals built their lead to as many as 23 points before closing out the game 76-54.

The Cardinals travelled to Natchitoches, La., Wednesday to take on Northwestern State. Scores were unavailable at print time. The Cardinals will play Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Saturday at 6:15 p.m. following the girls game. 

MEN’S TENNIS 

The Cardinals, defeated Jacksonville State, 4-2, Saturday at The Woodlands Country Club. 

LU jumped all over JSU to open singles play winning three of the first four opening sets. Courts 1 – 3 were all lock in tough battles as they all went to a tiebreaker. Big Red got the edge in two of those three matches and easily won the opening set on court four.

Freshman Nicolas Mayr wasted little time tying the match back up after his straight-sets victory over Paolo Cucalon, 6-2, 6-1. With the match all tied up, the Cardinals could focus on the battles at 1 – 3 singles. Senior Benny Schweizer was looking to give the Cardinals their first lead of the match, but was forced to a third set. Schweizer posted the 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-2 decision.

Junior Sebastian Santibanez would give the Cardinals back the lead and LU wouldn’t surrender it for the rest of the match. 

LU’s first team victory came from freshman Arthur Serafim who edged the Gamecocks’ Guillermo Agost, 7-5, in the opening set to take an early advantage. The opening set decision seemed knock the wind out of JSU’s sails as Serafim cruised to a 6-4 decision in the second set.

The Cardinals return to action Monday, Feb. 12, at 10 a.m. when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., to take on Troy on the Southern Miss campus.

TRACK AND FIELD

Prep for the 2018 Southland Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship continued Saturday with the finale of Notre Dame’s Meyo Invitational, in South Bend Indiana. The Cardinals had two top 3 finishes, including Thai Williams’ third consecutive second place finish in the 60-meter dash.

Joining Williams at the top was Jamie Crowe, who ran a time of 14:25.17 to finish third in the men’s 5,000m.

Williams began her journey to a second-place finish on Saturday,  she ran a 7.57 in the pre-lims, the third-fastest time of the day. In the semi-finals her time dropped to 7.62, but it was still enough to advance to the finals, where she ran a 7.56.

Also competing in the semi-finals on Saturday after a stellar performance in the pre-lims is Dominique Taylor, who ran the 60-meter hurdles. Her time of 8.595 qualified her for the semi-finals, where she ran an 8.75. Katy Whiteoak and Katie Buckley both ran the 3,000m for the first time as collegiate runners, with Whiteoak logging a time of 10:06.09 and Buckley coming in at 10:31.82.

Georgia Tuckfield ran a 5:02.47 in the women’s mile, her second-best performance.

On the men’s side, Crowe came in third in the men’s 5K on Friday, and O’Bonna represented the Cardinals with a fifth-place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 15.09m.

Saturday the Cards’ men competed in the Meyo Mile, where Cormac Kelly ran a 4:08.68 in his first collegiate race in the event. He came in 11th. Matthew Arnold and Keith Fallon ran the Ryan Shay 3K on Saturday, with Arnold turning in an 8:19.71 in his first time running the event and Fallon racing an 8:31.47, his second-best performance in the event. 

O’Bonna rounded out Saturday’s competitors as the lone Cardinal competing in a field event. He came in 14th in the long jump with a 6.80m jump.

Compiled by Cassandra Jenkins

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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