Lamar athletes help out during holidays

Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Lamar baseball and softball teams put up Christmas decorati

Lamar’s student-athletes have taken time away from their busy schedules of competition on the field and in the classroom to focus on Beaumont and the Golden Triangle. That focus has been directed to the community’s less fortunate during the holiday season.

“Although our coaches recruit student-athletes throughout the state of Texas, across the country and internationally, it is a special thing to see how our kids take pride in their community,” said Lamar Director of Athletics Jason Henderson. “This isn’t one event to mark something off a ‘to do’ list, but all of our teams get involved with different projects. It is a source of pride for our whole athletics department. Our student-athletes love Beaumont and the Golden Triangle and they want to help those in need.”

Dating back to Thanksgiving, Lamar’s student-athletes have been involved in several events throughout the community. Before the LU men’s basketball team sat down to enjoy their own meal, head coach Tic Price and his staff loaded up the team and took them to Some Other Place in Beaumont to serve a Thanksgiving meal to the Beaumont’s homeless.

The Cardinals lined up in the kitchen to help serve the meal, as well as assist with clean up. There were numerous residents volunteering to help out, but the Cardinals quickly became a popular attraction. As the players got out from behind the counter to meet with people, they soon began taking pictures with their fans.

Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Lamar baseball team joined forces with the LU softball team to help put up Christmas decorations at Buckner Children’s Village in Beaumont. Although Lamar’s players worked with the children to place decorations throughout the home, they did not hesitate to join the kids in playing games when the work was completed.

Buckner Children’s Village seeks to transform the lives of vulnerable children and build strong families through Christ-centered living. They assist with foster care, adoption, residential care and transition programs. They also provide counseling, after-school programs as well as job-readiness training.

With 11 days between games, the men’s basketball squad teamed up with LU soccer to take part in a special program that provides Christmas gifts to local children whose parents have been incarcerated.

Both teams were an immediate hit with the children as they walked in the church. Kids were allowed to take pictures with the LU athletes and were then escorted to their seats where they ate lunch with the athletes. During the meal, sophomore guard Marcus Owens led the children in Christmas carols, and before the kids were allowed to open their gifts they received a motivational message from basketball player Preston Mattingly, and soccer players Jennifer Yacuta and Laura Parra.

Women’s hoops

The Lamar Lady Cardinals used a balanced scoring attack to claim their first road win of the season as they rolled to a 93-42 victory over Ohio Valley in a non-conference women’s basketball game on Dec. 16.

Twelve of Lamar’s 14 players scored as the Lady Cardinals registered their largest margin of victory this season.

Kiandra Bowers led Lamar with 16 points, as she was one of three Lady Cardinals to score in double figures. Dominique Edwards had 15 points and nine rebounds, finishing just one board shy of her third straight double-double. Edwards also had a career-high five steals. Addesha Collins had 11 points for Lamar.

“I saw some good things tonight,” Lamar coach Robin Harmony said. “We were able to give everybody some playing time. We needed this win to go into the holidays on a positive note.”

The Lady Cardinals (3-7) are idle until Dec. 28, when they travel to Rice to close out the non-conference portion of the schedule. Lamar’s next home game is 4 p.m. Jan. 3, when Nicholls comes in for the Southland Conference opener.

Men’s hoops

Senior Tyran de Lattibeaudiere scored 30 points on 15-of-18 shooting as the Lamar Cardinals offense exploded for 128 points on Dec. 15 to defeat Champion Baptist. Lamar’s offensive production tied for the sixth-best game in school history as the Cardinals routed the Champion Baptist, 128-54 at the Montagne Center.

“I was proud of our defensive effort tonight,” said head coach Tic Price. “We were able to force the tempo and get some steals and then convert on the other end. I thought we still made too many mistakes with the basketball tonight, however. I thought Champion Baptist came out very strong tonight as well. They did a good job of executing their game plan. You have to tip your cap to those guys. They really fought hard.”

Five Cardinals finished the night in double digits as Lamar just missed a school record for field-goal percentage and margin of victory. The Cards finished the night 56-of-87 (.644) from the field. Both Lamar’s 56 made field goals and the 74-point margin of victory are the second-best marks in school history.

Senior Donovan Ross added 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting. The Ridgeland, Miss., native also pulled down five rebounds, dished out five assists and recorded five steals. Freshman Zjori Bosha recorded his first career start and responded with 13 points, five assists and five steals. Senior Anthony Holliday recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists, while junior Dontavious Sears chipped in 16 points off the bench.

The Cardinals return to action on Friday, Dec. 19, when they host Milligan College at 7 p.m. All fans who bring a new, unopened toy will receive free admission to the game.

LU will host Rice on Monday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m.

Soccer

The Lamar University women’s soccer team had two student-athletes named to the Southland Conference All-Academic Team. Junior defender Megan Campbell was named to the first team, while senior midfielder Kristin Bos was a second-team selection.

“I’m very proud of both of them,” said coach Orlando Cervantes. “They are both very hard workers on and off the field. We want all of our student-athletes to succeed in the classroom, and I’m so happy when they are recognized for that.”

Campbell, who is majoring in mechanical engineering, has a 3.91 grade-point average. She was named to the Academic All-District 7 women’s soccer team earlier this season. Campbell played in all 16 games for the Lady Cardinals, making 16 starts.

Bos, who is majoring in fashion retail merchandising, has a 3.79 GPA. She holds the Lamar career record for assists with 15, and is second all-time in points (55) and goals (20). This past season, she had five points on one goal and three assists.

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