Dec. 31, 2011
BEAUMONT - Seven Cardinals scored in double-figures, and all 12 players scored at least two points, as the Lamar men's basketball team blasted Lyon College 102-58 on Saturday afternoon at the Montagne Center in its final game before opening Southland Conference play.
Lamar concluded its pre-conference schedule with a solid 9-5 record, including a perfect 5-0 mark at home. Lyon, a school from the NAIA ranks, counts the game as an exhibition and remains at 5-5 on the season. The Cardinals will open Southland play at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1-11) at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
"I thought the guys finished strong today," said LU head coach Pat Knight. "Even though you're playing a lesser opponent, I thought the guys kept their enthusiasm throughout the game. We got a lot of guys minutes which is good so we can sharpen things up for conference play."
The Cardinals shot a sparkling 56.9 percent from the floor in the game and left little doubt from the start that they would take the victory. Devon Lamb scored 12 of his team-high 15 points in the first half as LU led 49-28 at the break.
"We came out strong and kept up the pressure," said Lamb. "This game will help us be ready for conference play. We just need to keep the momentum going, but everyone played with a lot of confidence today. We'll need to come out strong again on Wednesday and get that first conference win."
Senior Brandon Davis, who finished with 11 points off the bench, buried one of his three 3-pointers with 8:05 to play in the first half that put the Cardinals ahead by 11 at 29-18. Lyon, which shot a respectable 40.7 percent in the game, would not get any closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
The Cardinals dominated every facet of the game, outrebounding the Scots 41-29. Lamar also committed just 10 turnovers in the game and outscored Lyon 32-5 in points off turnovers.
In addition to Lamb, two other starters scored in double-figures. Charlie Harper
had 12 points and four rebounds and Mike James
, who scored 29 at No. 3 Kentucky on Wednesday, added 11 points and three assists.
"Playing the bigger schools (Louisville, Ohio State and Kentucky) like we did will definitely get you ready mentally and physically for where we're headed - into conference play," said James. "It's fun winning like we did today, but I feel like it's more fun to play in those big arenas. Those are the placed Hall of Fame coaches have coached and Hall of Fame players have played."
Senior guard Anthony Miles scored just six points for Lamar, but he added four rebounds and a game-high seven assists in just 18 minutes of work. The Cardinals finished with a season-high 23 assists on their 37 made baskets.
The Cardinals' bench, which outscored Lyon's bench 52-4, played most of the second half. Senior forward Vincenzo Nelson matched his career-high with 13 points, adding six rebounds and two assists in just 18 minutes of playing time.
Donley Minor, who also logged 18 minutes, finished with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists off the bench, while Tre Lynch added 10 points and four assists.
"We'll tighten our rotation in conference play," Knight said. "If we have guys who are on fire, we're not going to take them out just to take them out. But, I'm confident with our bench over what I've seen over 14 games that our bench can come in and help out."
Devonte Young and C.J. Blount combined for 36 of the Scots' 58 points. Young, who connected on 4-of-8 from 3-point range, led all scorers with 20 points. Blount added 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Kendall Leeks added eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.