Jan. 24, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -
Lamar Game Notes | Live Stats | Listen Live
The excitement of Thursday's 65-57 victory at Abilene Christian has to quickly be put in the rearview mirror for the Lamar men as the travel to San Antonio, Texas for a showdown against Incarnate Word Saturday afternoon. The matchup between the two Southland schools known as the Cardinals, will be the first meeting on the basketball court in program history. It also will be Lamar's second-straight game against a conference newcomer.
While the Cardinals (2-17/1-6 SLC) ended a 14-game slide with Thursday's night's win, they will be facing a UIW squad that is off to one of its best starts in school history. UIW's version of the Cardinals won 11 of their first 12 games, and has taken three of their last four, including an 85-74 win against Sam Houston State Thursday night.
Sparked by senior Amos Wilson's 14 points and 11 rebounds at ACU, the Cardinals showed a renewed intensity on the floor against the Wildcats. A `bend but don't break' mentality, Lamar surrendered its lead only one time in the final 20 minutes - an ACU lead that lasted just a few short seconds. Every time the Wildcats made a run at Lamar the Cardinals were up to the task. The Cardinals received clutch baskets from several different players including sophomore guard Donnell Minton who came off the bench to score a season-high 12 points. It was the second consecutive game Minton has improved his season high. Minton was one of four Cardinals to finish the night with at least 10 points in the game.
"That is one thing about these guys, they have never quit playing," said head coach Pat Knight following the game. "They have had to face some negatives but they continue to play hard. I was really happy with the effort of Amos Wilson. He added to the energy level tonight and that is what you want to see from your senior. Donnell Minton came in off the bench and gave us some quality minutes as well."
UIW brings one of the Southland's strongest offenses into Saturday's game. Led by Denzel Livingston and Kyle Hittle, Incarnate Word is averaging 85 points per game. Livingston and Hittle are both averaging better than 17 points per game. The Cardinals are also averaging 42 rebounds per game, while holding their opponents to less than 70.
Led by junior Nimrod Hilliard's 14.1 points per game, Lamar is averaging better than 67 points per contest. Over the course of the past six games, LU's offensive attack has been guided by sophomore Rhon Mitchell and senior Amos Wilson. Both are averaging 12 points per contest since the start of Southland play. Junior Donovan Ross is the fourth Cardinal averaging at least 10 points per contest.
Saturday's contest will begin at 4 p.m. from the Convocation Center on the UIW campus.