Feb. 12, 2011
BEAUMONT - Lamar University used a hot shooting second half, and got 20 points and 13 rebounds from junior Devon Lamb, in a key 84-71 Southland Conference basketball victory over Nicholls State on Saturday evening at the Montagne Center.
The win halted a five-game losing streak by the Cardinals and kept them in the thick of a tight SLC race with a 4-6 mark. The Colonels remain a half game ahead of the Cards with a 5-6 conference record.
It was a nice turnaround for Lamar against Nicholls, after the Cardinals lost the earlier meeting 78-71 in Thibodaux on Jan. 29. The Colonels were playing without second leading scorer Fred Hunter who went out with a knee injury two games ago.
Trailing by one with 5:37 to play in the first half, the Cardinals closed the half on an 11-2 run to take a 36-28 lead at the break. The Cards, who would not trail in the game again, grabbed nine offensive rebounds in the first half, leading to an 8-0 advantage in second chance points.
Lamar was even more effective in the second half, shooting 53.8 percent from the field and knocking down six second half 3-pointers. A Donley Minor 3-pointer with 8:30 to play in the game gave the Cardinals a 25-point lead at 67-42.
"We tried to take advantage of them on the inside," said head coach Steve Roccaforte. "We passed the ball and got some good looks at the basket, and we took care of our free throw opportunities. I hope this win is something that will get us going. You can't win five or six in row until you've won the first one, and we got one tonight."
Nicholls was able to get the deficit down to 12 with 50 seconds to play on a trio of Anatoly Bose free throws, but the Lamar victory was never in doubt.
Lamar finished the game with a 45-33 rebound advantage and outscored the Colonels (11-11) 24-16 in the paint. The Cards shot 45.5 percent from the floor in the game and limited NSU to 36.8 percent aim.
Included in the shooting struggles for Nicholls was leading scorer Bose. The 6-foot-6 guard still got his 22 point average, but was just 5-of-18 from the floor as Lamar's Donley Minor
hounded him all night.
"Donley Minor did a great job on Bose tonight," said Roccaforte. "He may have gotten his average, but he had to work for every point he got, and he had to go to the free throw line to get a lot of them. From the defensive standpoint, Donley's last three games have been remarkable in my opinion."
Minor was also outstanding on the offensive end, finishing with a career-high 18 points. Minor knocked down five shots from long distance and played a career-high 34 minutes.
Lamb continues to be the Cards most consistent player, recording his seventh double-double of the season. The junior transfer was 6-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-5 from 3-point range, adding two blocks and two steals.
Junior guard Anthony Miles made just 1-of-7 shots on the night, but that did not tell the story of his game. Miles managed his second double-double on the year with 11 points and a career-high 10 assists. Miles was clutch at the free throw line, making 9-of-10.
Leading scorer Mike James came off the bench to finish with 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes of playing time.
In addition to Bose's 22 points, NSU got a season-high 15 points from Kellan Carter. Carter also led the Colonels with eight rebounds. Ben Martin finished with 11 points and four assists, as well.
The Cards will continue SLC action at Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday night at 7 from the University Center.