Nov. 5, 2012
BEAUMONT - Senior guard Donley Minor scored 18 points Monday night at the Montagne Center to lead five Cardinals in double figures as Lamar University shook off a pesky Northwood squad by an 87-76 score in exhibition basketball.
The Cardinals, who will open the season this Monday at Kansas State in the NIT Season Tip-Off, were tied at 37 with Northwood at the half before shooting 57.7 percent from the floor in the second half to earn the victory.
"We played everybody and got everybody minutes," said LU head coach Pat Knight. "I liked what I saw. The good thing is the guards got a lot of playing time especially the younger guys. From a team standpoint, I just don't know yet.
"I just don't know where we're at. I'm glad we're 2-0. You have exhibition or scrimmage season, pre-conference, conference and conference tournament. We got the one out of the way and we're 2-0. Could we have played better, yes, but we got some of the new guys some experience."
The Knights' Damarion Austin knocked down a 3-pointer with 15:41 to play in the game to give his team a 48-43 lead. Lamar would respond with a 17-3 run over the next 5:20 to build a nine-point lead at 60-51 with 11:12 to play.
Northwood would not go away, however, and whittled the Cards' lead down to just three points at 71-68 with 4:19 on the clock. Senior forward Nikko Acosta, who finished with 16 points and seven rebounds off the LU bench, knocked down a layup with 2:21 to play to cap a 10-1 run and give the Cards their largest lead at 81-69.
The Knights would draw no closer than seven points the rest of the way as Lamar dominated the boards and limited the visitors to 31.4 percent shooting in the second half. The Cardinals outrebounded NU 54-30 and had a 46-24 advantage in points in the paint.
The first half was a different story as the Knights were able to pick up steals and blocked shots and turn them into quick points on the other end. Northwood led by as many as 11 points in the first half before Minor and Brian Curran
sparked a Lamar rally.
Down 17-6 just six and a half minutes into the game, Lamar went on a 19-6 run of its own to take a 25-23 lead with just over eight minutes to play in the half. Minor hit three straight shots during the stretch, while Curran hit all three of his buckets.
The game would stay close the rest of the first half with neither team getting up by more than three. Northwood's Jarrod Coleman was able to hit a driving layup at the buzzer to tie the game heading into intermission.
Lamar shot a solid 47.6 percent from the floor in the contest, but hit just 1-of-9 from 3-point range. The Cardinals' aggressive play forced Northwood into 30 fouls which allowed Lamar 39 trips to the free throw line where it made 26.
Minor, who hit all six of his free throw attempts, added six rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes of playing time. Freshman guard Keilan Blanks was the only other Cardinal to play over 22 minutes, finishing with 12 points and five assists in 34 minutes.
Junior forward Amos Wilson added 12 points and six boards for the Cardinals, while redshirt freshman Rhon Mitchell came off the bench to register 10 points and six boards in just 17 minutes.
Jabbar Reid led the Knights with 16 points and six boards. The 6-foot-6 junior added three assists, three steals and three of the Knights' nine blocks in the contest. Austin and Mike Fisher added 15 points each in the losing effort.