The UNO men’s basketball team opens Southland Conference play against Lamar at 7:45 p.m. Monday at Lakefront Arena.
For the first time since 2010, the Privateers (4-5) begin conference play with an opportunity to compete for a postseason tournament berth. UNO has won two of its previous three games.
Lamar (7-6) is on a five-game winning streak. The Cardinals are led by 6-foot-4 forward Tyran de Lattibeaudiere, who averages 15.2 points on 61 percent shooting and 7.9 rebounds.
The Cardinals’ seven wins almost double the four games they won last season, including splitting two matchups with UNO, with the home team winning both games.
The Privateers’ 90-60 win over Central Baptist on Tuesday moved UNO’s home record to 3-0, and they play their first two conference games at home, including a game against Sam Houston State (9-4) on Saturday.
Guard Nate Frye scored a career-high 22 points Tuesday and averages 11.2 points and 4.0 assists. He is 16-of-17 on free throws in his past five games.
Tevin Broyles gives Frye a complementary scoring option in the backcourt, with Kevin Brown missing the past three games with a knee injury. In those three games, Broyles averaged 12.0 points and 4.7 rebounds.
One of the three games the Privateers played without Brown was their biggest win of their season, a 56-52 road win over Southern Illinois on Dec. 19.
The Privateers trailed by double digits in the second half and looked to Frye, Broyles and guard Christavious Gill to lead them back. The trio scored 23 of the team’s final 27 points.
After their home stand, the Privateers go on a three-game road trip against teams with a 26-12 combined record, including Southland Conference-leading Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 19.