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Cardinals Edged by SFA in WAC Road Contest

Photo by McKenzie Whittinghill/SFA Athletics.

Senior C.J. Roberts scored a team-high 20 points and classmate Davion Buster added 14 as Lamar University put up a strong fight at Stephen F. Austin but fell short Monday evening dropping an 86-78 decision at the William R. Johnson Coliseum. The game was a make-up contest that was originally slated to be played on New Year’s Day.


Roberts and Buster were joined in double figures by sophomore Kasen Harrison who added 10 points for an offense that shot 26-of-57 (.456) from the field, including eight three-pointers. Unfortunately, LU cooled off in the second half after knocking down better than 57 percent of their attempts in the opening 20 minutes.


The Cardinals won the battle on the glass outrebounding their hosts, 34-31, including 15 offensive rebounds. LU’s advantage on the glass led to a six-point edge in second chance points.


Led by Latrell Jossell’s 23 points, the Lumberjacks finished the night shooting 25-of-51 (.471) from the field, including nine three pointers. SFA converted 29-of-36 (.806) free throw attempts while the Cardinals attempted 22.


Big Red got out to a quick start knocking down six of their first 12 attempts and rattled off a 10-0 run to take an early 18-10 lead. While LU found its rhythm, the Lumberjacks struggled converting just 3-of-10 from the field (and 1-of-6 from long range).


The Cardinals managed to hold their advantage not allowing their hosts to get any closer than four points (with less than three to play in the half) and after consecutive Roberts’ threes, the Cardinals pushed their lead to as many as 12, 35-23, with 4:42 remaining in the half.


Unfortunately, the Cardinal threes seem to re-energize SFA as they rattled off their most sustained run of the half (12-0) to tie the game with less than two remaining in the half. The Cardinals finally put an end to the run with consecutive Buster three balls to reclaim a six-point lead and took a 43-37 lead into the locker room.


SFA tied the game at 52 with 13:27 in the contest following two Jossell free throws. After the Cardinals reclaimed the lead at the free throw line on their next possession, the ‘Jacks took their first lead since early in the first half on a Jossell three, 55-54, but the Cardinals answered right back on the other end with a Buster pull-up jumper.


The game remained a back-and-forth affair for the next four minutes when the Lumberjacks rattled off a 7-2 run to take a six-point lead, 69-63, with less than seven minutes to play. SFA managed to build their largest lead of the game (75-68) with two David Kachelries free throws. After a Roberts’ layup, SFA pushed its lead to eight following a Jossell three ball with 5:12 on the clock.


Unfortunately, the Cardinals never managed to get the game back within a single possession in the closing minutes as the ‘Jacks converted their opportunities at the free throw line.


The Cardinals return to action Thursday when the travel to St. George, Utah to take on Dixie State. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Central time).

Category: Sports