Feb. 23, 2013
BEAUMONT - Senior Stan Brown and junior Amos Wilson combined for 35 points and 21 rebounds Saturday evening at the Montagne Center, but it was not enough as Lamar University dropped a non-conference men's basketball game 74-61 to Texas State.
The game was a part of the ESPN BracketBusters weekend and reunited former conference rivals in both the Lone Star Conference and the Southland Conference. This is the second straight year that Lamar has been among the BracketBuster field with the Cardinals falling 75-71 at George Mason last season.
Lamar drops to 3-24 on the year and will face a must-win contest Thursday when Central Arkansas visits the Montagne Center. The defending Southland Tournament champions must defeat UCA to keep their hopes alive for earning one of the eight spots in this year's tournament.
"We're not going to stop," said LU head coach Pat Knight about the Cardinals moving forward. "We still have four games to go and mathematically can still get to Katy (for the conference tournament). We'll try to get things figured out, but it's disappointing."
The Cardinals trailed 39-29 at the half Saturday and the Bobcats were able to maintain a double-figure lead for most of the second half. After Lamar pulled within eight at 49-41 with 11:17 to play on a Wilson layup, the Bobcats went on a 17-5 run to build a 66-46 lead with 5:52 to play.
Brown, who finished with 16 points and matched a career-high with 14 rebounds for his third double-double of the year, hit two free throws with 1:23 on the clock that made the score 70-59. Texas State (8-19 overall) then got a layup from Joel Wright and a jumper by Phil Hawkins to push its lead back to 15 points.
Brown hit a layup with 10 seconds to play to close out the scoring.
The Bobcats led from start to finish, hitting 5-of-11 3-pointers in the first half to build the early lead. The Cardinals attempted only three 3-pointers on the night and finished without a make from beyond the arc for the ninth time this season.
The Cardinals committed a season-low 12 turnovers and finished with the same number of points off turnovers as their opponents (10 each). Lamar had a slight 40-39 rebound advantage, but couldn't make up for a 22-of-61 shooting night (36.1 percent).
In addition to hitting nine 3-pointers in the game, TXST was also able to attack the rim, finishing with a 38-22 edge in points in the paint.
Wilson, who was coming off a career-high 23-point effort Tuesday against Nicholls, finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. The junior transfer was just 6-of-17 from the floor, but hit all seven of his free throw attempts and added three of LU's six blocked shots and two of Lamar's three steals.
Rhon Mitchell and Donley Minor added eight points apiece for the Cardinals, and Minor finished with five of Lamar's 14 assists.
Wright, who came into the game averaging 17.2 points per game, finished with a game-high 27. The junior forward added seven rebounds, six assists, four blocked shots and two steals.
Matt Staff added a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats, while Deonte' Jones finished with 19 points. Jones was responsible for most of the Bobcats' outside attack, hitting 6-of-10 from 3-point range.
Staff made 1-of-2 free throws just over five minutes into the game to give the Bobcats a 9-8 advantage. Jones then hit a trey 35 seconds later and the Cardinals could never pull even again. Another Jones triple at the 11:20 mark gave Texas State a 21-9 advantage for its first double-digit lead of the game.
"When you get down by 15 or more, it's hard to win the game," said Knight. "They haven't quit yet and they keep fighting back, but I don't know what to do to get them to start the game out well. It's hard to come back and we just bury ourselves coming out at the start."