Nov. 11, 2011
BEAUMONT - Lamar senior Anthony Miles hit a driving layup with seven seconds to play to break a 62-62 tie and lift the Cardinals to a season-opening 65-62 basketball victory over visiting Arkansas State on Friday night at the Montagne Center.
The Cardinals, who will play at No. 9 Louisville on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., trailed 61-54 with 4:23 to play in the game. However, a furious rally over the final four minutes helped Lamar (1-0) overcome a poor shooting night.
"I've been preaching to these kids that you're going to have nights where you're not going to shoot the ball well," said Pat Knight who opened his tenure as Lamar's head coach with the win. "Defense always gives you a chance to win. I don't think these guys would've won this game the last couple of years because they didn't play good defense. I think it proves to them, if you play defense, no matter how bad you are offensively, you have a chance to win."
Senior guard Mike James hit a pair of free throws with 4:05 to play that got Lamar within five at 61-56. Charlie Harper then scored back-to-back buckets, and Lamar was within one point with 2:13 on the clock.
A Brandon Peterson free throw put the Red Wolves (0-1) ahead by two with 1:39 to play, only to see Lamar tie the game at 62 with 1:21 to play on another Harper layup. Peterson committed a costly turnover for ASU with 29 seconds to play, setting up Miles for the heroics.
The 6-foot-1 guard drove from the left wing, avoided the inside defenders of ASU, and knocked down the game winner as he went sprawling to the floor. Brandon Davis then stole the inbounds pass, was fouled and hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line to seal the win.
"Coach Knight called the winning play," said Miles, now just six points away from becoming the 19th player in school history with 1,000 career points. "It was a high screen and roll. It was a good play, and we had a good effort on it and got the win. It was a play made for me. I just tried to make the play so the team could win."
Lamar led by as many as eight points in the first half, but ASU closed the half on a 15-6 run to lead 37-36 at the break. The Cards had a brief one-point lead at 47-46 with 12 minutes to play in the game, and then didn't lead again until the game winner.
The Cardinals shot just 34.4 percent from the floor in the game, including 5-of-14 aim from 3-point range. Lamar did manage to hit 18-of-25 from the free throw line, while the Red Wolves were just 14-of-24 from the charity stripe.
Lamar finished with a 43-38 advantage on the boards, getting a game-high 15 rebounds from Devon Lamb. The 15 rebounds matched a career-high for Lamb, and the 6-foot-2 wing added 13 points for a double-double. Lamb also registered three blocks and three steals.
Despite being the smaller team, Lamar outscored ASU 28-22 in the paint. The Cards also had a 27-20 advantage in points off turnovers as the Red Wolves coughed up the ball 20 times on the night.
Miles finished the night just 3-of-14 from the floor, but he hit his only 3-point attempt and made 8-of-10 from the foul line for his 15 points. He added a game-high seven assists and four rebounds.
Davis came off the Cardinals' bench to lead all players with 17 points. The wiry-thin shooting guard hit 4-of-6 from 3-point range, several of which were from well beyond the arc. Harper added 10 points and eight boards in the win.
Marcus Hooten led the Red Wolves with 15 points and five caroms, while Peterson added 14 points and eight boards. Rakeem Dickerson and Adam Sterrenberg added eight points apiece off the ASU bench.