C. Arkansas beats Lamar for first Southland tourney win
KATY, Texas (AP) — League Player of the Year Jordan Howard scored 26 points and Central Arkansas shut down Lamar in the second half for its first-ever Southland Conference Tournament win in Wednesday night’s opener.
Matthew Mondesir scored 12 points and Mathieu Kamba and Thatch Unruh added 11 apiece for the seventh-seeded Bears (17-15), who face No. 3 Stephen F. Austin in Thursday’s quarterfinal.
Trailing 33-31 at halftime after 12 lead changes, Lamar opened with a 13-3 run capped by DeAndre Love’s 3 and led 44-36 as the Bears struggled offensively early in the second half. But Lamar went cold as the Bears’ defense stiffened, and UCA led 61-55 on Kamba’s putback after holding the Cardinals scoreless for seven minutes.
The Bears finished on a 15-2 run with Howard hitting four free throws for a 65-57 lead with 31 seconds to go while the Cardinals scored just two points in the final nine minutes.
Josh Nzeakor scored a career-high 23 points for the No. 6 seed Cardinals (20-12), who shot 37.1 percent from the field.