Tic Price gets 200th career win as Lamar clobbers Liberty
Lamar hit 12 three-pointers and never trailed, beating Liberty 82-65 on Monday at the Montagne Center.
Sophomore guard Nick Garth’s 22 points - 19 of which came in the second half - led all scorers as the Cardinals (6-5) shot 62.8 percent, including 60 percent (12-of-20) from the three-point line.
The victory, which moved Lamar to 4-0 at home, was coach Tic Price’s 200th-career win.
“It was cold outside but there was a heatwave in the building because of Nick,” Price said.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 20-6 lead in the first seven minutes behind the hot shooting of junior guard Torey Noel, who scored all 11 of his points in the game’s first four minutes.
The 14-point lead was Lamar’s largest of the first half but the Flames (5-7) fought back to within four points, 36-32, with under a minute remaining in the half after three Cardinals’ starters, including Noel, had to exit because of foul trouble.
A three-pointer from Garth - his first points of the game - with 12 seconds left in the half gave the Cardinals a seven-point halftime lead.
“It was a little difficult to find a rhythm because of all the fouls,” Garth said. “But we were able to fight through it.”
Garth’s impact was felt immediately in the second half with Noel on the bench.
Garth hit four three-pointers in a 2:20 stretch to push Lamar’s lead to 53-39 with 15:42 left.
Lamar’s quick start to the second half - a 14-7 advantage - combined with Garth’s continued barrage of three-pointers stymied any chance of a Liberty comeback.
Garth ended up hitting two more three-pointers to finish 7-of-8 from behind the arc, including a perfect 6-of-6 in the second half.
“The rim looked humongous in the second half,” Garth said. “But it all happened because my teammates were able to get me the ball.”
Junior guard Joey Frenchwood added 10 points and a career-high 12 assists for his first-career double-double.
Frenchwood had just one turnover in 38 minutes and scored five points in the final three minutes to hold off the Flames.
“Joey’s a very mature player for us,” Price said. “One turnover in 38 minutes is very impressive.”
Sophomores Dorian Chatman and Josh Nzeakor also finished in double figures in scoring with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Ryan Kemrite and A.C. Reid each led Liberty with 15 points.
Lamar returns to action on Wednesday against Arlington Baptist.
“I was very pleased with the effort of all 12 guys who stepped on the court for us tonight,” Price said.