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Hokies too strong for Cardinals

Lamar sports information

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Junior Marcus Owens gave the Lamar men’s basketball team 12 points off the bench, and  freshman Nick Garth continued his streak of double-digit scoring games, but the Cardinals struggled against a hot shooting Virginia Tech squad.

The Hokies defeated LU, 88-53, at Cassell Coliseum ending the Cards’ modest three-game win streak.

“We didn’t see the competitive side from our guys today that we normally see,” said head coach Tic Price. “But, we played a team today that has played so much better than any other team we have seen. We never got into a flow offensively. Virginia Tech won all of the effort areas. We are still growing as a team. We ran into a buzz saw today, but the important thing is that we learn from this.”

The Hokies shot 49 percent from the field, including a 38 percent performance from beyond the arc, but cooled off in the second half. Virginia Tech raced out to an early lead, and took a 28-point lead into the locker room at halftime after shooting 54 percent from field, including 6-of-12 (.500) from three-point range in the opening half.

The Cardinals struggled to an 8-of-26 (.308) performance in the opening 20 minutes, which included only two three-pointers. Big Red was also hurt by early fouls as starting point guard Kevin Booze had two fouls in less than four minutes and five Cardinals had two fouls at the intermission.

The Cardinals’ bench continued to outshine its opponents by outscoring the Hokie reserves, 37-26.

The Hokies raced out to a 12-0 lead before LU got on the scoreboard with consecutive baskets from Owens at the 16:15 mark. Despite Owens’ spark off the bench, Virginia Tech never took its foot off the accelerator starting the game 5 of 8 (.625) from beyond the arc. The Hokies built their advantage to 17 points with 9:29 remaining in the half and closed out the half on a 12-2 run to take a 51-23 lead into the locker room.

After the Hokies netted the first field goal of the second half, the Cardinals responded with two Zjori Bosha free throws and a layup from freshman Dorian Chatman to cut the deficit to 26, but the Hokies responded with five consecutive points to build its lead to more than 30. LU never got closer than 29 points after that.

Owens came off the bench to tie for team-high honors with 12 points on 2-of-3 (.667) three-point shooting. He also pulled down four rebounds and dished out two assists. Garth pushed his streak of consecutive games with at least 10 points to nine games, but he hit a three with 10 seconds remaining to get his 12th point Sunday.

The Hokies finished the day six players in double figures led by Zach LeDay’s 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Kerry Blackshear added 11 points and 10 boards.

The Cardinals return to action Friday when they host Jarvis Christian. The game against the Bulldogs will tip off at noon in the Montagne Center.

 

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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