LU men’s basketball announces 2016-17 schedule

Tic Price and Chelsea Grant

The Lamar University men’s basketball team released its 2016-17 schedule, announced head coach Tic Price, and the slate is highlighted by 15 home dates, including nine Southland Conference games in Beaumont.

“Each season brings new challenges,” said Price. “We will be playing some tough teams in some very tough venues during the non-conference part of the schedule. This will give us an indication of where we are as a team early in the season. During this part of the schedule, you’re really looking for your guys to grow as a team.”

The Cardinals open the new season at home Friday, Nov. 11, against Howard Payne. The contest against the Yellowjackets will be one of only two opportunities for LU fans to see the Cardinals at home in the first month of the season as they will play six of their first eight games away from the friendly confines of the Montagne Center.

Following the opener, LU hits the road for a four-day trip to the West Coast where they will face Oregon State (Nov. 16) and Fresno State (Nov. 19). The Cardinals will be back in town Tuesday, Nov. 22, for a contest against UTSA. Following the game against the Roadrunners, LU will hit the road for two weeks with dates at Prairie View A&M (Nov. 25), Idaho State (Nov. 29), San Francisco (Dec. 2) and DePaul (Dec. 6).

Big Red returns home to host Austin College on Saturday, Dec. 10. The game against the ‘Roos will kick off a stretch that will see LU at home in seven of its next nine games. The Cardinals travel to Edinburg to face UT Rio Grande Valley on Friday, Dec. 16, before returning home to open a three-game homestand Monday, Dec. 19, against Liberty. LU will host Arlington Baptist two nights later before taking a break for the Christmas holiday. LU returns from the holidays Thursday, Dec. 29, to host Huston-Tillotson.

“Travel during the early part of our schedule will be brutal,” said Price. “We will be competing in multiple time zones, and our kids will have to adjust. We will be playing teams with different playing styles, which should help better prepare us for the rigors of conference play. Everyone has seen the success of Stephen F. Austin over the last couple of years, but we have a lot of talent in this league. It is hard to win on the road in the Southland, and you have to defend your home court.”

The Cardinals will open the New Year and Southland Conference play Monday, Jan. 2, in Conway against Central Arkansas. LU will host New Orleans in its conference home opener Thursday, Jan. 5. The game against the Privateers will kick off a three-game conference homestand.

Big Red faces rival McNeese twice during the 2016-17 season. The first meeting between the two schools will take place Saturday, Feb. 4, in Beaumont, and the rematch will be the regular-season finale in Lake Charles on Saturday, March 4.

Tickets can be purchased by logging onto the athletics website at lamarcardinals.com or by calling (409) 880-1715.

The Lamar Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon will take place Saturday, Oct. 22, at 12:30 p.m. Call (409) 651-4738 to reserve a seat or table.

Football

Senior defensive back Lloyd Julian and sophomore running back Keegan Mitchell have left the Lamar University football team for unspecified reasons.

A reserve in the Cardinals secondary, Julian had played in 35 games during his career earning 11 starts. He had recorded two tackles and broken up a pass this season. Mitchell played in six games during his rookie season, recording 27 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown. He had recorded just two carries for three yards through LU’s first three games in 2016.

Lamar (0-3, 0-1) was off last week and hope to win their first game of the year on Saturday, Oct. 1, when they host Southeastern Louisiana (1-2, 1-0) at 7 p.m. The Lions won their first game of the season last weekend, defeating Southland Conference opponent Northwestern State, 34-24. SELA leads the all-time series, 8-3, including a 30-27 win last year.

Men’s golf

The NCAA Committee on Infractions released its statement on the Lamar University men’s golf program regarding violations prior to the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. The violations are related to improper benefits and financial aid provided to student-athletes.

Lamar University became aware of the violations during the 2015 spring semester and immediately conducted an internal investigation. Following the internal investigation, the university turned over its findings to the NCAA and enforced several self-imposed penalties on the program. The penalties included a restricted playing schedule during spring 2015 and the 2015-16 season, withdrawal from prestigious tournaments held outside the United States and scholarship reductions.

In addition to the self-imposed penalties, the NCAA also placed the program on probation through the 2017-18 academic season, which included a postseason ban for the current academic year. The NCAA also limited the program’s number of official and unofficial visits during in 2016-17 season and is prohibiting off-campus evaluations and communication with prospective recruits for a seven-week period during the current season.

The NCAA also noted in its findings that there were no allegations regarding a lack of institutional control or failure to monitor the program by the institution.

Cross country

In the first meet at a championship distance of the campaign, both teams from Lamar University cross country put up good numbers. The men finished third and the women eighth at the Texas A&M Invitational hosted at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course on Sept. 24.

The men, led by a 14th place finish from Sean Chalmers, finished the 8K race in a time of 24:49.0.

The Cardinals will not return to action for a couple weeks, when they head to the Bradley Classic on Oct. 14. The Southland Conference championships open the championships season on Oct. 28.

Soccer

The Lady Cards fell to 1-9-1 overall and 0-2-1 in league play last weekend, losing 1-0 to Northwestern State and 4-1 to Central Arkansas. LU will host two games this weekend beginning Friday, Sept. 30, with SFA at 7 p.m. and Sam Houston State on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m.

Volleyball

The LU volleyball team notched its first win of the season Sept. 24 with a 3-1 road match victory over New Orleans to improve to 1-13 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Senior Chelsea Grant led the Cards with 16 kills and a .406 attack mark. Junior Carylyn Stella continued her hot hand on defense with 14 digs.

The Lady Cards will travel to Houston on Saturday, Oct. 1, to play Houston Baptist at 1 p.m.

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