Nov. 12, 2010
BEAUMONT - Lamar University newcomers Brandon Davis and Devon Lamb combined for 43 points, and the Cardinals shot 52.6 percent from the floor, in opening the 2010-11 basketball season with a lopsided 115-57 victory over visiting Lyon College on Friday night.
The Cardinals, who opened up a 66-35 halftime lead, just missed setting a new school record for most points in a season opener. The 1990-91 Cardinals opened with a 116-60 victory over Samford in the UAB Invitational.
"I thought we did a good job of sticking with what we were trying to do," said head coach Steve Roccaforte, now in his fifth year. "We're going to full court press, trap the ball and push the ball. Last year, we average 68 points a game, and we scored 66 in the first half tonight. So, we have done a good job of improving on that."
Lamb, who led all of National Junior College Athletic Association Division I players in scoring last season at 27.8 points per game, made an immediate impact when he entered the game. The 6-foot-2 guard made his first six shots from the floor, including three 3-pointers and a pair of electrifying dunks.
Lamb finished the first half with 18 points and six rebounds, settling for 21 points and nine rebounds in the contest.
Davis didn't start as quickly, making just 1-of-5 3-pointers in the first half. However, the sharpshooter from Southwest Christian Junior College hit 5-of-7 from distance in the second half and scored a game-high 22 points.
"Brandon Davis is a really good 3-point shooter," noted Roccaforte. "He shot 48 percent on three last year, which is great. When he's open, I want him putting it up."
The Cards scored the first seven points of the game before the Scots responded with an 8-2 run that made it 9-8 Lamar just three minutes into the game. Senior guard Kendrick Harris
capped a 14-2 Lamar run with a layup that made it a 13-point game and the Scots never got it under double figures the rest of the way.
Harris played a brilliant floor game for Lamar, despite playing just 21 minutes. He finished the game with eight points and dished out seven assists while committing no turnovers.
Despite the frenetic pace, Lamar turned the ball over just 13 times in the game and forced Lyon into 34 turnovers. The Cardinals enjoyed a huge 44-10 advantage in points off turnovers and outscored the Scots 44-20 in the paint.
Junior guard Charlie Harper finished with 15 points, on just six field goal attempts, and hauled in eight rebounds for Lamar which enjoyed a 44-37 rebound advantage over the smaller Lyon lineup. Sophomore Donley Minor chipped in with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists, and 13 of the 14 Cardinals that played scored at least a point.
Andy Lee was the only Lyon player to score in double figures as he finished with 12 points. Kip Kelly led the team with four rebounds and five assists.
The Cardinals will have a week off before facing UC Riverside next Friday (Nov. 19) at 12:30 p.m. in the first round of the SMU Tournament. LU will also take on Portland State and the host Mustangs over the three-day event.