Feb. 8, 2014
HUNTSVILLE, Texas -
For the second consecutive game the Lamar Cardinals were unable to overcome a slow offensive start dropping an 84-70 decision at Sam Houston State (17-6/9-2 Southland) Saturday afternoon at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. The loss dropped Lamar to 3-20 on the season, and 2-9 in conference play.
The Cardinals got out to a similar start against Sam Houston State that they did against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Lamar struggled to find basket in the opening half connecting on three of its first 13 attempts (.231), but despite their struggles offensively Lamar's defense kept the Bearkats from taking advantage.
With 10:48 remaining in the opening half sophomore Rhon Mitchell gave Lamar its first lead of the game, 10-9, but the basket lit a fire under Sam Houston State. The `Kats responded with a 14-3 run to take a 10-point lead in the game. Sam kept their foot on the accelerator pushing their run to 31-10, and took a 48-27 advantage into the locker room.
The Bearkats continued their hot shooting throughout the first half knocking down 55 percent of their shots, while Lamar was held to an 8-of-22 (.364) performance. Sam Houston received a huge boost from its bench in the opening half, outscoring Lamar's reserves, 28-6.
"We are having a hard time when we make substitutions," said head coach Pat Knight. "It's not just from a scoring standpoint, but we lose a lot in terms of our energy as well. I got on the team at halftime - that you have to be ready to play when your number is called. We can't have three guys ready to play and two with no energy, or even four and one. Sam was able to send in new guys in waves with no drop off and when we make substitutions there were huge drop offs. Sam is a very deep talented team."
After giving up four of the first six points in the second half, the Cardinals responded with a 10-4 run and eventually cut the SHSU's lead down to 16 points with 12:12 remaining, but the `Kats responded by pushing the lead back over 20 points. The Cardinals made a late run that saw the deficit get cut to 14 points on a Nimrod Hilliard three, but it was too little too late.
Despite the slow start, Lamar fared much better in the second half shooting 59 percent from the field and outscoring the Bearkats, 43-36. The Cardinals finished with three players in double digits led by Mitchell's 18 points. Junior Donovan Ross
added 17 points, while Hilliard had 13. SHSU was led by Dakarai Henderson's 13 points.
The Cardinals return to action Thursday when they host Southland-leading Stephen F. Austin. The game against the Lumberjacks is slated to begin at 7:30 from the Montagne Center.