Lamar travels to Oral Roberts for Thursday game
Jan. 22, 2013
TULSA, Okla. - Lamar University will be meeting Oral Roberts for the 15th time ever Thursday evening at 7:30 in a men's basketball contest, but it will be the first time they have met as Southland Conference opponents.
Oral Roberts, which is 10-8 overall and 5-1 in league play, joined the Southland Conference this year after five seasons in the Summit League. The Golden Eagles were the favorite to win the league title as selected in the 2012-13 Southland Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
The game can be heard live in Beaumont on KLVI 560 AM. It can also be seen on ESPN3 with Lincoln Rose providing the play-by-play and Jim Haller doing color.
ORU holds a 10-4 series advantage over Lamar (2-16 overall, 0-6 in the Southland) and has won the last three meetings. The Cardinals won the first ever meeting 120-106 in Beaumont on Jan. 26, 1970. The Golden Eagles knocked off Lamar 65-57 in the Montagne Center on Nov. 24, 2007, in the most recent battle.
Lamar is coming off a 74-50 loss at McNeese State on Saturday. The Cardinals led 31-23 at the half, but couldn't stop the Cowboys' offensive effort in the second half as McNeese shot 64.5 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes.
Senior forward Stan Brown just missed out on his fourth career double-double as he finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinals. Fellow senior Donley Minor added 10 points and three assists in the loss.
If Lamar is to pull the upset Thursday, it will have to slow one of the top shooting teams in the conference. ORU is third in the Southland in field goal percentage at 45.1 percent, and leads the league in 3-point shooting (36.9 percent) and free throw shooting (75.9 percent). In fact, the Golden Eagles rank among the top 15 schools in the nation from the charity stripe.
The Cardinals come in averaging 57.7 points per game offensively and the Golden Eagles are putting up just under 69 points. ORU is allowing 66.3 points per game to its opponents, while the Cardinals are giving up 75.6 per contest.
Redshirt freshman Rhon Mitchell leads the Cardinals in scoring at 10.1 points per game, although the 6-foot-5 forward has scored in double-digits just once in Southland Conference play. Mitchell is adding 4.5 rebounds per game and leads the team with 14 blocked shots.
Brown is just behind at 9.8 points per game and leads the Cardinals in rebounding at 6.6 per night. Minor is adding nearly nine points and a team-high 3.0 assists per game.
Senior guard Warren Niles leads ORU in scoring at 19.0 points per game, and his 2.7 3-pointers per game rank second in the conference. Fellow senior Damen Bell-Holter is putting up 14.8 points and a league-best 9.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-9 forward has improved those numbers to 22.3 points and 11.7 rebounds against Southland competition. Junior forward Shawn Glover is adding 12.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per outing.