AP NEWS

2 Central stars to play in Lamar, Texas State tournament game

March 15, 2017 GMT

A chuckle was all Nijal Pearson could muster when asked what he’d do if Tyrin Atwood had to guard him.

Pearson and Atwood aren’t used to being adversaries, having been teammates from the start of middle school to their final game at Central last season.

But tonight, Pearson’s Texas State team will face Atwood and Lamar University in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. It will be the first opportunity for the two play against each other in college.

When Pearson collected himself, he gave a lighthearted answer about Atwood, one of three Southeast Texas natives on Lamar’s roster.

“I’d tell Tyrin to let me score on him,” Pearson said.

“Shoot, I’d tell him to let me score on him too,” Atwood said. “Nijal can really play defense, so it’s never easy to score on him.”

Pearson has started every game for the Bobcats his freshman season while averaging 13.2 points per game.

Atwood has played in 14 games this season, but is averaging just 6.2 minutes per game.

Texas State was a game away from making the NCAA Tournament, but lost in the Sun Belt Tournament final, setting up the game against Lamar.

MEN

Lamar (19-14) at Texas State (20-13)

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today

WHERE: Strahan Coliseum, San Marcos

WATCH/RADIO: Facebook Live (CIT page), KLVI 560 AM

WOMEN

Lamar (22-7) at Rice (18-13)

WHEN: 7 p.m. today

WHERE: Tudor Fieldhouse, Houston

WATCH: ConferenceUSA.com

NOTES: The Lady Cardinals are playing in the postseason for the first time since 2013-14 despite falling to Stephen F. Austin in the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament. A first-round WBI win over Rice would guarantee another home game - either against Stephen F. Austin or UTRGV - for the Lady Cardinals.

DShapiro@BeaumontEnterprise.com

Twitter.com/DannyShapiro13