Lamar and Northwestern State to battle Wednesday
Jan. 24, 2012
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Lamar University and Northwestern State will meet on the basketball court Wednesday night at 7 in Prather Coliseum with first place in the Southland Conference East Division standings on the line.
The Cardinals are coming off a 92-78 win at Central Arkansas on Saturday that halted a brief two-game skid and improved them to 12-7 on the year. Northwestern State improved to 10-9 overall after knocking off McNeese State on Saturday, pushing all three schools into a tie atop the East Division standings at 3-2.
This will be the first of two regular season meetings between the two schools with NSU returning to the Montagne Center on Feb. 8. The game can be heard live in Beaumont on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth providing the play-by-play.
The Cardinals have dropped the last three meetings to the Demons, but still lead the all-time series 22-20 since Lamar became a four-year program in 1951-52. NSU leads 15-5 over Lamar at home with the Cards last win in Prather Coliseum coming on Jan. 26, 2008.
The two teams last met on Feb. 10, 2011, with the Demons pulling out a 70-68 home win as current LU senior Anthony Miles missed a 3-point attempt at the final buzzer.
Lamar jumped out to a 20-2 lead in the game, but was ahead just 37-31 at the half as Northwestern State made a strong run of its own. The Cards were still leading by six with six and a half minutes to play, but NSU went on an 11-0 run to grab a five-point lead. The Demons would not trail again.
Behind a game-high 11 rebounds from Devon Lamb, Lamar would finish the game with a 42-34 rebound advantage. The 6-foot-2 Lamb would add 21 points to complete the double-double. Miles added 18 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Cards.
Will Pratt led the Demons with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting. William Mosley finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Lamar is coming off its best half of shooting this season as the Cards made an amazing 82.8 percent of their field goal attempts in the second half of their win over UCA. Lamar, which led just 30-29 at the half, missed just five shots in 29 attempts against the Bears after halftime.
Senior Charlie Harper matched his season-high with 22 points, adding a game-high 14 rebounds for his third double-double of the year. Harper scored 18 of his points in the second half as he was 8-of-10 from the floor.
The 22-point effort pushed Harper's scoring average back into double-figures on the season at 10.4 points per game. He is one of four Cardinals scoring at least 10 a game as Lamar is the third highest scoring team in the Southland at 75.6 points per game.
James leads the team at 16.3 points per game, good enough for third in the league. Miles is fifth in the conference in scoring average at 14.2 points per game, while his 3.9 assists per contest ranks third.
The trio of James, Harper and Miles are all shooting over 80.0 percent from the free throw line as Lamar continues to rank among the nation's best. As a team, the Cards are hitting 73.2 percent from the foul line to rank second in the Southland and 48th in the nation.
Lamb is the Cards' other double-figure scorer at 11.3 points per game, and his 7.7 rebounds per game lead one of the nation's best rebounding teams. Lamar is fifth in the country in rebounds per game at 41.4, and is besting its opponents by 5.7 rebounds per game.
NSU is averaging 71.6 points per game on offense while giving up 72.0 on defense. The Demons are fourth in the league in rebounding at 37.1 per game with Mosley leading the conference at 10.1 rebounds per game. Mosley, who is averaging 10.6 points per game, is also third in the country in blocked shots at 4.2 per game.
Junior guard Shamir Davis leads the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game. He also leads the team with 30 steals as NSU is averaging a league-best 9.5 steals per game. Louis Ellis is the third double-figure scorer on the squad at 10.4 points per game.