Lamar and McNeese State to square off Saturday
Jan. 17, 2013
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Lamar University will look to win its third straight game over rival McNeese State when the two schools meet Saturday afternoon in Burton Coliseum for a Southland Conference men's basketball contest. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Lamar brings a 2-15 record into Saturday's contest and is still in search of its first Southland Conference victory after five losses. McNeese State is 7-8 on the year and 1-4 in league play. The game can be heard live in Beaumont on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth handling the play-by-play.
While the Cardinals have won the last two and own a 50-42 all-time record in the series, McNeese State has enjoyed the success in Lake Charles. The Cowboys are 31-14 against Lamar at home and have won the last 13 meetings in Burton Coliseum.
The Cardinals' last win in Lake Charles was a 73-58 victory on Dec. 20, 1997. Last year, the Cardinals had a six point lead with 1:16 to play before McNeese's Patrick Richard scored nine straight points to lead his team to a 57-54 win and continue Lamar's road woes in the series.
Lamar would get the last laugh a year ago as it defeated McNeese 78-68 in the Montagne Center and then overwhelmed the shorthanded Cowboys 70-49 in the championship game of the Southland Conference Tournament. The second win gave Lamar the league's automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
In the championship game, Lamar led 33-21 at the half, withstood a rally by the Cowboys to pull within two points and then pulled away in the second half for the victory. Tournament MVP Mike James led LU with 26 points and nine rebounds, while Anthony Miles finished with eight points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Richard finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, but the 2012 conference Player of the Year was just 4-of-20 from the floor. Dontae Cannon added 13 points and Desharick Guidry led all players with 10 rebounds.
Neither team has played in a week. Lamar is coming off a 62-56 home loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the Cowboys last outing was a 72-57 loss to Sam Houston State in Burton Coliseum.
As a team the Cardinals are scoring 58.1 points per game and allowing 75.7. McNeese State is scoring 66 points on offense while yielding just under 70 to its opponents. The Cowboys shoot slightly better from the field than Lamar at 42.2 percent to 41.5 percent, but the Cards are better from the free throw line (67.1 to 64.7 percent).
Redshirt freshman Rhon Mitchell leads the Cardinals in scoring at 10.5 points per game. The 6-foot-5 forward is adding 4.5 rebounds per game, but is averaging just 7.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in Lamar's five Southland Conference games.
Senior guard Donley Minor is coming off a 13-point effort against the Islanders in which he went 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Minor is currently averaging 8.9 points and a team-best 3.0 assists per game for the Cardinals.
Fellow senior Stan Brown is posting career highs this year with averages of 8.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Guidry leads a trio of double-figure scorers for the Cowboys at 12.1 points per game. The sophomore forward also ranks third in the Southland with 8.5 rebounds per game. Cannon is adding 11.9 points and 3.4 assists per game, while sophomore guard Kevin Hardy is accounting for 10.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals per night.