Lamar beats Nicholls 79-67 to start conference play

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) Nick Garth had 10 of his 17 points in the second half as Lamar grabbed a 79-67 win over Nicholls to open Southland Conference play on Saturday.

Garth made 3 of 7 from beyond the arc and grabbed seven rebounds. Kevin Booze added 12 points and dished out six assists, and Dontavious Sears chipped in 10 for Lamar (9-4, 1-0).

The Cardinals, who have averaged 42 rebounds a game, grabbed 46 compared to Nicholls' 34. Lamar made 28 of 67 shots from the field while limiting the Colonels to 15-of-47 shooting.

Lamar held a 30-24 halftime advantage and extended that to 62-46 with 6:44 remaining.

Tre O'Neal nailed a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 run as the Colonels pulled to 75-65 with 1:14 left. Garth and Booze made four free throws to seal the win.

Ja'Dante' Frye led the Colonels (4-10, 0-1) with 17 points.