Cardinal hoops rolled on the road

Anthony Holliday led the Cards with 14 points.

The Lamar Cardinals fell behind early to Sam Houston State and were never able to recover, losing by the final score of 79-50 on Feb. 2 at the Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville to fall to 11-11 overall and 5-5 in Southland Conference play.

“Sam Houston came out tonight and played like they didn’t want someone beating them on their home floor, and we didn’t match their intensity,” said head basketball coach Tic Price. “I’m very disappointed with our effort. They played like a team that was hungry, and determined to win a conference title, and we didn’t respond. We can’t afford to be reactive going into someone’s house — we have to be proactive.”

Anthony Holliday led the Cards with 14 points but was just 6-14 from the floor while senior Donovan Ross added 11 points.

The Cardinals return to action Saturday, Feb. 7, when they travel to San Antonio to face Incarnate Word at 7:30 p.m. then continue on the road Monday, Feb. 9 at Abilene Christian at 7 p.m.

Holliday was named the Southland Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 2.

“We are all very proud of Holliday and what has been able to accomplish on the court this season,” said Price. “He is very deserving of this honor. As coaches, you expect your seniors to step up and be leaders – those are the guys who have been through the battles – but Holliday has taken his play to another level. It is nice to know you have a guy that you can count on every night to go out and put points up on the board.”

The team’s third leading scoring entering the Southland Conference season, Holliday has transformed himself into one of the league’s most dominant players. Currently ranked second in the Southland averaging nearly 22 points per game, Holliday has scored at least 23 points six times in the past nine games, set a new career high three times and has had one 30-point effort.

Women’s hoops

After beating Abilene Christian 76-72 at home on Jan. 31, the Lady Cards (11-10, 8-2 SLC) will travel to play ACU on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. then play in San Antonio on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 5 p.m.

Softball

Eager to put last year behind them, the Lamar Lady Cardinals peppered this fall’s and winter’s practice sessions with extra doses of intensity and determination. Come Friday, they hope to reap the benefits of their efforts when they open the 2015 softball season at the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Lamar will play five games at the Sand Dollar Classic, starting with a noon game against Florida International on Feb. 6 then Jackson State at 6 p.m. The remaining tournament schedule for Lamar is Friday vs. Liberty (noon), Saturday vs. Southern Miss at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. vs. Western Kentucky.

“I know the team is ready to face some game situations rather than just competing against themselves in practice,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “They want to go out and show that all of this hard work is paying off.”

The Lady Cardinals open the season by playing in five-game tournaments for four consecutive weeks before opening the home season with a doubleheader against Houston Baptist in the first-ever games at the brand-new Lamar Softball Complex on March 3.

“We are going to be so pumped up to play on campus,” senior infielder Casey Cromwell said. “That’s going to be a huge home-field advantage for us.”

Bruder said the stretch of 20 games in 24 days will get the Lady Cardinals ready for their Southland Conference schedule. After the San Dollar Classic, Lamar is at tournaments at Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech and the University of Texas.

“We are going to face some nationally ranked teams, some teams at our level and some teams we should beat,” Bruder said of the tournament games. “With that many games in a short span, everyone is going to get their opportunity to contribute.”

The Lamar softball program is in its third year of this latest era, as the program was revived in 2013 after being dropped in 1987. The Lady Cardinals qualified for the Southland Conference Tournament in that first season but missed out on the tourney by one game last season, finishing 20-30 overall and 12-14 in conference play.

“I definitely want to go back to the tournament this season, said senior infielder Casey Cromwell. “This is my last year. I want to go out with a bang.”

Cromwell, a second-team preseason All-conference selection this year as a utility player, hit a team-best .310 for the Lady Cardinals last year with eight home runs and 21 RBIs. Junior shortstop Stephanie Meeuwsen, who hit .270 last season, is Lamar’s other second-team preseason all-conference selection.

Junior right-hander Lauren Dannelley is Lamar’s lone returning pitcher. Last season, Dannelley went 3-3 with one save and a team-best 4.20 ER

Season tickets and individual-game tickets will go on sale in the near future. For more information, call (409) 880-1715.

Tennis

The men’s tennis team will play at Prairie View A&M on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. and again that afternoon in Houston at Rice at 5 p.m.

Both men’s and women’s teams will play at home on Saturday, Feb. 8, vs. Alcorn State, beginning at 10 a.m.

Track & field

The dress rehearsal is over, and the Lamar men’s and women’s track teams made the final push before the conference championships at the Howie Ryan Invitational in Houston and the UW Invitational in Seattle, Wash., on Jan. 31.

“As a whole, we had some really good things happen over the weekend,” said head coach Trey Clark. “Now we just have some injuries to heal and give the kids a break before we go to the Southland Conference Championships.”

In Houston, Dominique Taylor staked her claim to the school record in the 60-meter hurdles with a 8.67 time, and finished sixth on the day. She moved into fifth place of the Southland Conference lists. Taylor owns four of the top five times on Lamar’s all-time 60-meter hurdle event.

In Washington, Sam Stabler led the way after a second-place finish in the 3000-meter run and a 7:53.98 time that moved him into first place in the Southland Conference and second nationally. It was the first 3000m event of his indoor season, and Stabler set a new personal career record.

Reigning Southland Conference Female Track Athlete of the Week Verity Ockenden finished ninth in the mile run on a 4:46.74.

Next up is the league meet on Feb. 16 and will be held at the Birmingham CrossPlex Arena in Birmingham, Ala.

 

— Compiled by Chad Cooper

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