FORT WORTH – Three Cardinals scored in double-figures Wednesday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, including a double-double by Charlie Harper, but it was not enough as Lamar University couldn’t overcome a cold shooting night in a 77-72 basketball loss to TCU.
The loss dropped the Cardinals to 4-3 on the year and snapped their three-game winning streak. Lamar will play its next three games at home in the Montagne Center beginning with Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. contest with Louisiana-Lafayette.
After trailing 40-30 at the half, Lamar opened the second half with a 21-8 run to take a 51-48 lead. A Harper layup following his own miss gave Lamar a 49-48 lead, and a pair of Harper free throws 27 seconds later pushed the lead to three points.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they could not continue the strong shooting they opened the second half with. After hitting eight of its first 14 shots (57.1 percent) following the break, Lamar made just seven of its final 22 in the game (31.8 percent). For the game, the Cards shot just 38.5 percent from the floor.
“It’s a tale of two halves,” said LU head coach Pat Knight. “We came out real flat, didn’t guard anybody in the first half and then our offense was flat. You’ve got to feed off your defense. We had no energy, no enthusiasm.
“We came back in the second half and had the energy and the enthusiasm on defense which picked up our offense. We had a really good second half. If we had played the first half like the second half, we would’ve won this game. It’s got to be a lesson to these kids.”
The Cardinals still had their opportunities in the game. Harper, who scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, buried a baseline jumper to pull Lamar to within one at 70-69 with 1:22 to play. Craig Williams hit a layup to put the Horned Frogs back up by three, and Harper missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
After Hank Thorns made 1-of-2 free throws to put TCU (5-2) ahead 73-69 with 26 seconds to play, the Cards got a turnaround jumper from Mike James that made it a two-point game with 17 seconds on the clock. Amric Fields hit a pair from the free throw line with 11 seconds to play to give TCU a 75-71 lead.
Lamar’s last chance may have bounced off the rim with three seconds to play as Harper missed the first of two free throws. His second cut the TCU lead to 75-72, but Thorns sealed the win with a pair of free throws that made the final score 77-72.
Despite a size disadvantage, the Cards did a solid job on the boards. TCU only finished with a 42-40 advantage, and Lamar actually finished with a 20-16 edge in second chance points. Harper pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the year, and Devon Lamb added eight rebounds to go along with his 11 points.
Senior guard Anthony Miles, who was coming off a career-high 31 points at Tennessee Tech on Friday, added 21 points against the Horned Frogs. Miles was an impressive 7-of-10 from the field and knocked down both of his 3-point tries.
Lamar also had a big night from the free throw line, making 19-of-22 for 86.4 percent. Lamb, Harper and Miles were each 5-of-6 from the free throw line, while Donley Minor and James both went 2-for-2.
The Horned Frogs finished with a huge 41-10 advantage in bench points as Kyan Anderson finished with a team-high 15 points and Garlon Green added 12. Lamar’s Osas Ebomwonyi scored just two points off the bench, but was huge with six rebounds and three blocked shots.
J.R. Cadot scored 14 points for TCU, making eight of his 12 free throw attempts. Thorns, who came in averaging a team-high 12.3 points per game, finished with just seven points on 1-of-10 shooting. Both players added five rebounds and four assists.