Nov. 7, 2011
BEAUMONT - Four players scored in double figures, and Lamar used a stifling defensive effort, as the Cardinals rolled to a 101-39 exhibition basketball victory over Louisiana College on Monday night in the Montagne Center.
Lamar will open the 2011-12 regular season at home Friday night as former conference foe Arkansas State visits Beaumont for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. Not only will the game be a doubleheader following the Lady Cardinals' 5 p.m. contest with Our Lady of the Lake, but it will also be Veteran's Appreciation Day with all veterans receiving free entry into the game.
"I'm happy with the defensive effort," said LU head coach Pat Knight. "I don't care who you play, to hold a team to 39 points is good anywhere. That's been our focus, not getting into shootouts with people and beating them that way. You have to do it from the defensive end."
The Cardinals shot better than 50 percent from the floor in each half, finishing the game with a solid 53.8 percent shooting night. The Wildcats struggled to 27.3 percent shooting in the game, including a dismal 22.2 percent effort in the second half.
LC's Jarrod Jackson buried a 3-pointer from the wing to open the scoring, and Jelani Mitchell hit a jumper with 16:05 to play in the first half to put the Wildcats ahead 7-5. Lamar would tie game at 7-7 on a Charlie Harper jumper, and then go ahead for good on a Mike James 3-pointer with 14:35 to go in the first half.
The Cardinals' largest lead in the first half was 30 points, and they settled for a 51-26 lead at the break.
As good as Lamar's defense was over the first 20 minutes, it was even better in the second half. Lamar held the Wildcats to just four points over the first 10:45 of the second half, building its lead to 79-30 on a Vincenzo Nelson layup with 9:41 to play.
As the game neared its end, the only question left was whether or not the Cardinals would score 100 points. Senior guard Brandon Davis
, who was one of the three Cardinals to score 18 points, knocked down a pair of free throws with 48 seconds to play to push Lamar past the century mark.
Harper also scored 18 for the Cardinals, making nine of his 13 shot attempts in just 19 minutes of playing time. He would add five rebounds as the Cardinals finished the game with a huge 53-32 advantage in rebounding.
"It's not about the other team, it's all about us trying to work on defense," said Harper when asked what could be learned by playing a team like Louisiana College. "We have a couple of big games coming up early in the season, and then we have to get ready for conference play. It's about us buying into Coach Knight's system."
James also scored 18 for Lamar on Monday, although it was a far cry from the school-record 52 points the senior guard scored last season when the two teams met. Playing just 19 minutes, James added three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Senior guard Anthony Miles was the Cards' other double-digit scorer, finishing with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The 6-foot-1 Miles added seven assists and five steals in his 24 minutes of work.
Devon Lamb led all players with nine rebounds.
Lamar took great care of the ball, committing just seven turnovers, and sharing the ball with 26 assists on 43 made baskets. The Cardinals had a monstrous 43-2 advantage in points off turnovers which also resulted in a 16-0 advantage in fast break points.
Shaun Johnson came off the LC bench to score 12 points and pull down six rebounds. Mitchell added 10 points, while Derrick Gardner had six points and a team-high seven rebounds.