Dec. 11, 2010
BEAUMONT - Led by Tremell Adams' 22 points, Lamar University scored 95 points off the bench on Saturday night as the Cardinals rolled to a 123-79 basketball victory over visiting Huston-Tillotson.
Lamar improved to 5-4 on the year and a perfect 3-0 at home as all 15 players saw action in the game. Perhaps most amazing is that all six LU players who scored in double-figures, did so off the bench.
While Lamar was able to slowly build a lead in the first half, the Cardinals' defense was not good enough to deliver a knockout blow to the Rams (0-12). LU's largest first half lead came at 43-20 with 7:54 to play, but the Rams hung around and trailed 65-48 at the break.
"I was really disappointed by our defensive effort in the first half," said LU head coach Steve Roccaforte. "We didn't apply very much pressure; we were allowing them to get into the lane, and we were fouling people and putting them on the free throw line."
While the Rams trailed by 17 at the half, they were able to connect on seven 3-pointers and went to the free throw line 20 times (13 makes). Lamar enjoyed a big 10 rebound advantage in the first half, but turned the ball over 15 times in helping keep HTU in the game.
"The 15 turnovers we had in the first half were way too many," noted Roccaforte. "We only had eight in the second half, so that was a positive."
Adams was a key reason for Lamar's first half lead, as well. The junior transfer led Lamar with 13 points at halftime, connecting on 5-of-10 shots and making three 3-pointers.
Senior Coy Custer, who scored a career-high 15 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, hit a layup with 16:42 to play in the game that capped a 10-0 Lamar run as the Cardinals built their lead to 27 points. Custer added three blocked shots in the game and now has 83 for his career, just two behind Marlone Jackson for fifth place in school history.
"Wow, the bench scored 95 points," said Roccaforte. "I've never heard of that before. Coy played extremely well, and Orlando (Brazier) played great. We got a lot of meaningful contributions.
"I went with a lot of different players in the second half, and they did a lot better. We held them down - to 26.5 percent from the field, 16.7 percent from the 3-point line and to 31 points as opposed to the 48 points they scored in the first half."
Junior guard Mike James hit a pair of free throws with 9:32 to play in the game that closed an 11-2 run and put the Cardinals over 100 points at 101-63. James hit 8-of-9 from the free throw line in scoring 13 points for the Cards.
The Cards lead ballooned to 50 points at 121-71 with 4:12 to play on a Brazier hook in the lane. Lamar would finish with just two more points -- a pair of James free throws - over the final four minutes, but would still score the its most points since Dec. 3, 2003. The opponent that night, Huston-Tillotson.
Lamar shot an even 50.0 percent from the field in the game, and connected on 10 3-pointers. Lamar was an impressive 33-of-39 from the free throw line and outrebounded the Rams by 25 boards.
Adams finished his night with four 3-pointers made and 4-for-4 aim from the foul line. Brazier, who played just 10 minutes, finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Devon Lamb added 13 points and eight boards off the Cardinals' bench.
James Black, who came into the game averaging 17.8 points per game, scored a game-high 34 points for Huston-Tillotson. Cameron Morgan added 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Lamar will have a full week off before traveling to take on longtime rival Louisiana-Lafayette next Sunday (12/19) afternoon at 2:05.