Lamar to host UT Arlington on Saturday afternoon

GO CARDINALS <strong>First-year head coach Pat Knight has the Cardinals off to an 11-6 start</strong>
GO CARDINALS
First-year head coach Pat Knight has the Cardinals off to an 11-6 start
GO CARDINALS

Jan. 13, 2012

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BEAUMONT - Lamar University will look to rebound from Wednesday's tough loss at McNeese State when the Cardinals host UT Arlington on Saturday afternoon at 2 in a Southland Conference basketball game from the Montagne Center.

The Cardinals, who are 11-6 overall and picked up their first SLC loss at McNeese to fall to 2-1 in league play, will be taking on one of the hotter teams in the conference in UTA. The Mavericks have won their last six games and bring a 10-5 overall mark into the contest. UTA also sits atop the SLC West Division with a 3-0 conference record.

Saturday's game will be broadcast live on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth providing the play-by-play, and will be streamed live on the Lamar Athletics web site at www.LamarCardinals.com/allaccess. It will also be First Responders Day with all fire, police and EMS receiving free admission with a valid ID or in uniform.

This will be the 75th meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to the 1961-62 season. However, this will be the last time the two meet in a Southland Conference regular season game as the Mavericks are moving to the Western Athletic Conference next year.

Lamar has won 53 of the previous 74 meetings, including a commanding 31-5 advantage in Beaumont. The Mavs last win in the Montagne Center came on Jan. 6, 2001. Lamar won the only meeting between the two schools last year, knocking off UTA 76-72 in Texas Hall.

The Cardinals built a big lead in last year's matchup only to see the Mavs make the game uncomfortably close down the stretch. Lamar led 66-50 with 3:18 to play before UTA went on a 20-8 run to pull within four points at the 20-second mark.

Current senior Anthony Miles hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds on the clock to put Lamar back on top by six and seal the win. UTA's only lead in the game was at 2-0, and the Cardinals were up 33-18 at the half.

Lamar outrebounded the Mavs 48-36 and hit a solid 24-of-30 from the free throw line in the game. The Cardinals did commit a season-high 26 turnovers.

Devon Lamb posted a double-double for the Cards with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Three other LU starters scored in double-figures, led by Kendrick Harris' 17 points. Miles and Brandon Davis added 16 points each in the win.

The Mavs got 15 points and six boards from LaMarcus Reed. Armani Williams and Shaquille White-Miller also combined for 24 points off the UTA bench.

UTA and Lamar currently rank second and third, respectively, in the Southland in scoring average. UTA is putting up 77.5 points per game, while the Cards are at 74.2. The Mavericks are outscoring their opponents by just over 13 points per game to lead the SLC. Lamar is third with a positive scoring margin of nearly eight points per contest.

Despite struggling in Wednesday's 57-54 loss at McNeese, the Cardinals continue to be one of the better free throw shooting teams in the country. Lamar was just 18-of-28 against the Cowboys, but on the year is hitting 73.6 percent to rank second in the conference and 38th in the country.

Three Cardinals are ranked among the top 10 in the conference in free throw shooting percentage. Charlie Harper is second in the league at 82.5 percent, with Mike James fourth at 81.8 percent and Miles just behind in fifth at 81.5 percent.

Lamar brings a balanced offense into Saturday's contest, with five Cardinals scoring at least nine points per game. James, who struggled to just eight points at McNeese, still leads the Cardinals with 15.7 points per game.

Miles is posting 13.9 points and a conference-best 3.9 assists per game for the Cardinals. Lamb averages a team-high 7.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game to go along with his 11.0 points per game scoring average. Harper (9.6 ppg) and Davis (9.2 ppg) are also capable scorers for the Cards.

UTA, which finished 13-16 last season, ranks among the league leaders in nearly every statistical category this year. The Mavs are third in field goal percentage at 44.4 percent, third in 3-point percentage at 36.3 percent and fourth in free throws percentage at 67.6 percent. UTA is also hitting 7.5 3-pointers per game to rank third in the conference.

Reed leads the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game. The three-year letterwinner has also made a team-high 27 3-pointers while shooting a solid 40.3 percent from beyond the arc. Bo Ingram, the 2011 Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, is posting averages of 11.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. TCU transfer Kevin Butler is scoring 10.8 points per game, while junior center Jordan Reeves leads the team in rebounding with 6.6 rebounds per contest.

LAMAR

 

 

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