Jan. 14, 2012
BEAUMONT - Four Cardinal starters scored in double-figures Saturday afternoon at the Montagne Center, but Lamar University couldn't overcome a slow start and poor shooting in dropping a 91-82 men's Southland Conference basketball game to UT Arlington.
The Cardinals have now lost two straight conference games to fall to 11-7 overall and 2-2 in league play. Lamar will have a full week to try and regroup before going to Central Arkansas next Saturday. UTA, which hadn't won in Beaumont since Jan. 6, 2001, improved to 11-5 on the season and a perfect 4-0 in conference games.
Junior forward Nikko Acosta was whistled for a technical foul for dunking in pregame warm-ups. UTA's LaMarcus Reed, who led the Mavericks with 25 points, knocked down both free throws to give his team a 2-0 lead before the game had even tipped off.
Bo Ingram would bury a 3-pointer just 18 seconds into the game, and Reed would add another with 19:07 to play in the first half to give the Mavs a quick 8-0 lead. The Cardinals hit four straight free throws to make it an 8-4 game with 18:11 on the clock, but they would never pull even in the contest.
"You get down 8-0, that game was over," said LU head coach Pat Knight. "This was a disgrace of a display from an energy standpoint. We just came out flat. We were beat right from the start. The 3-point shooting and us getting beat on the boards killed us."
UTA built a 10-point lead on an Ingram 3-pointer with 9:54 to play in the first half that gave the Mavs a 29-19 lead. A Mike James 3-pointer capped a 10-2 Lamar run over the ensuing 1:48 that brought Lamar within two points at 31-29.
The Mavs, who shot 53.3 percent from the floor in the game, closed the first half on a 14-7 run to carry a 45-36 lead into the break. Shooting was not a problem for UTA as the team connected on seven of its 14 3-point attempts in the first half.
A pair of Mike James
free throws with 16:46 to play in the game pulled the Cardinals to within six points at 52-46, but that was as close as they would get. The Mavs' lead grew to as many as 15 points in the second half, and while Lamar was a solid 6-of-12 from 3-point range in the second half, its flurry at the end of the contest was too little, too late.
UTA finished the game with 10-for-20 shooting from 3-point range, but it was also able to score plenty from in the paint. The Mavs enjoyed a 36-22 advantage in points in the paint as they controlled the boards for much of the game.
Lamar missed 44 of its 70 shot attempts in the game, but that did create plenty of opportunities for offensive rebounds. The Cardinals grabbed 23 of their 41 rebounds off the offensive glass and converted them to a 30-17 advantage in second chance points.
Lamar also finished the game with just eight turnovers.
James matched Reed for game-high scoring honors at 25 points. The senior guard added six rebounds and a career-high seven assists. Fellow senior Devon Lamb posted his fourth double-double of the year with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
"They were good, but we made them look better than they really are," said James. "We're going to have to take things seriously and regroup. We can't let this happen again. I want to go to the conference tournament and to have a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament."
Charlie Harper and Anthony Miles chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Cards, who were outscored 21-14 in bench points, got six from Brandon Davis and five from Tre Lynch.
Reed was able to score his 25 points on just 12 shots as he made eight, including a team-high four 3-pointers. He would add eight rebounds to match teammate Jordan Reves for team-high honors. TCU transfer Kevin Butler added 19 points and Ingram finished with 12.