Jan. 25, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -
Despite losing starter Rhon Mitchell in the first eight minutes of the game, Lamar battled hard but came up just a bit short at Incarnate Word Saturday afternoon dropping a 75-64 decision. The loss drops Lamar to 2-18 on the season, and 1-7 in Southland Conference play.
"We got down early and made a little run but just couldn't get over the hump," said head coach Pat Knight. "When Rhon went down early in the first half that hurt us. He is one of our leading scorers, and it is tough to overcome something like that. We would get back in it and then we would make a mistake and Incarnate Word did a good job of making us pay for those mistakes."
UIW scored 18 points from Lamar's 14 turnovers, while Lamar could only manage eight points from the Word's mistakes.
The Cardinals received strong play from its bench following Mitchell's injury. Lamar's reserves outscored UIW, 20-15, and received another strong effort from sophomore Donnell Minton. The Indianapolis sophomore finished the day with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.
Lamar started the game hitting four of their first eight attempts , but found themselves down by nine, 19-10, with just under 12 minutes remaining in the first. Despite Lamar's strong start shooting, the Cardinals gave UIW five extra possessions in the early going which Incarnate Word cashed in for seven points.
UIW matched Lamar's hot start hitting 8 of their first 14 (.571) from the field, including 3-of-6 from three-point land. The Word's Anthony Horton was a huge reason for UIW's hot start knocking down 4-of-his-first-5 (.800) from the field.
Lamar connected on 11-of-its-first-21 (.524) attempts but didn't take their first lead of the game until 2:10 remaining in the half. Junior Nimrod Hilliard gave Lamar a 30-29 lead on a layup from the left side, but the Word's version of the Cardinals closed the half on a 10-0 run, including a basket at the buzzer to take a 39-30 lead into the locker room.
UIW took advantage of Lamar's turnovers in the opening half converting the Cards' 10 miscues into 14 points. Lamar received solid contributions from its reserves in the opening 20 minutes. Led by freshmen Marcus Owens
and Preston Mattingly's
five first-half points, LU outscored the Word's bench 13-7 in the first 20 minutes.
After UIW built its advantage to double digits early in the second half, Hilliard hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to eight, 46-38, with 15:14 remaining. UIW's Cardinals responded by pushing their advantage to 15 points with just over 13 minutes remaining.
Sparked by another Hilliard three-pointer, Lamar rattled off a 16-6 run to cut the deficit to five, 59-54, with 7:30 remaining. Lamar forced a turnover on the following UIW possession but couldn't convert and Incarnate Word was able to score at the other end to push its advantage back to seven points. Lamar was unable to get any closer down the stretch as UIW held on for the lead.
Hilliard was one of three Lamar players in double digits finishing the game with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Classmate Donovan Ross added 11 points, while Anthony Holliday chipped in 10. UIW was led by Denzel Livington's 27-point effort.
The Cardinals return to action Thursday when they step on the court at the Montagne Center to face Houston Baptist. The game against the Huskies will tip off 30 minutes following the women's game, but no earlier than 7:30 p.m.