Cards rally falls short in 57-54 loss at McNeese State
Jan. 11, 2012
LAKE CHARLES, La. - McNeese State guard Patrick Richard scored nine straight points over the final 1:14, including a 30-foot 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds to play that broke a 54-54 tie, as McNeese State dealt Lamar University a 57-54 Southland Conference basketball loss Wednesday night at Burton Coliseum.
For Lamar, its misery continues in Lake Charles as the Cardinals have now lost 13 straight road games in the series dating back to Dec. 20, 1997. The Cardinals, who fell to 11-6 overall and 2-1 in Southland play, will look to rebound at home Saturday as UT Arlington visits the Montagne Center for a 2 p.m. start.
"Lamar beat Lamar tonight," said LU head coach Pat Knight. "You have to win these games. I don't think anything positive comes out of losing. We just have to work harder, we have to quit fouling, we have to move our feet on the perimeter and we have to do a better job on post defense. We made dumb plays."
Lamar, which trailed 30-28 at the half, finally took a second half lead on a Charlie Harper put back with 2:19 to play that made it 50-48. Harper repeated the play just 49 seconds later and Lamar was suddenly ahead 52-48.
The Cardinals looked to be in good shape to end their futility in Lake Charles when a pair of Devon Lamb free throws with 1:14 to play put Lamar up 54-48. However, some clutch play from Richard and some poor play by the Cardinals down the stretch spelled their doom.
"We were defending them toward the end which let us come back," said Knight about the Cardinals' late run. "We weren't fouling them. We were getting stops. At the offensive end, we were driving and forcing them to foul. It's just a shame, though. We shot ourselves in the foot tonight."
Richard, who led all players with 25 points, knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:05 to play to get the Cowboys to within four points. Lamb had a chance to put Lamar back up six with 45 seconds to play, but he missed two free throws.
Richard then came down and hit a jumper in the lane. Stan Brown's swipe across the arm sent Richard to the foul line, and after he knocked down the free throw, McNeese trailed just 54-53 with 32 seconds to play.
The Cowboys (6-8, 2-0) trapped Lamar guard Mike James in the corner on the ensuing possession, and he turned it over to McNeese. Richard picked up the loose ball and was fouled by James with 26 seconds to play. He only hit the first free throw, but the Cowboys grabbed the offensive rebound to set up the game winner.
Richard dribbled the clock down and then pulled up from at least 30 feet with Lamar guard Anthony Miles up close on him. The ball hit nothing but net and the Cowboys escaped with the win.
"We had a bad shooting night and their last shot just killed us," said Lamb who led the Cardinals with 17 points. "We have to go forward from here. We know we are a better team than this team. We made a lot of bad decisions and we beat ourselves."
Lamar was 10-0 on the year when outrebounding its opponent, but that came to an end Wednesday as a huge 46-35 advantage on the boards couldn't overcome the Cardinals' anemic shooting. Lamar was just 17-of-52 from the field in the game, including 2-of-11 from 3-point range.
James, who has averaged over 21 points per game over the last six contests, was just 3-of-12 on the night for eight points. Miles was also 3-of-12 from the floor as he finished with 10 points.
"Lamar beat Lamar tonight. McNeese did not beat Lamar," said Miles, echoing the words of his head coach. "We had bad turnovers, we missed too many free throws (18-of-28) and we need to put this game behind us and start getting ready for Saturday."
Brown, who did not attempt a shot in the game, led the Cardinals with nine rebounds. Lamb and James chipped in with seven rebounds each.
Dontae Cannon was the only other Cowboy to score in double-figures as he finished with 13 points. Adrian Fields added nine points and matched Cannon's six rebounds. Richard led the Cowboys with seven boards.