Nicholls to visit the Montagne Center on Saturday
Jan. 26, 2012
BEAUMONT - Coming off a tough loss at Northwestern State, the Lamar University men's basketball team will play its first home game in two weeks Saturday afternoon at 2 when it hosts Nicholls in a battle of Southland Conference East Division teams.
The Cardinals haven't played at home since suffering a 91-82 setback to UT Arlington for their only home loss of the season. Following Wednesday's 74-62 loss to the Demons, Lamar stands at 12-8 overall and 3-3 in league action. The Colonels are 5-14 on the year, including a 1-6 SLC mark after losing 60-56 to McNeese State.
This will be the first of two regular season contests between the two schools. The game will be broadcast live in Beaumont 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.
This will be the 28th meeting between the two schools with Lamar holding a commanding 21-6 series advantage. LU and NSU split their two meetings last year with each winning on its home floor.
Lamar leads the series 14-1 in Beaumont with the Colonels' only win coming on March 7, 2009, when they held the Cardinals to a Montagne Center-low 36 points. Lamar head coach Pat Knight will be facing Nicholls for the first time, while NSU's J.P. Piper is 4-7 against the Cardinals.
Lamar and Nicholls last met on Feb. 12, 2011, with the Cardinals winning 84-71 in the Montagne Center. Current senior Devon Lamb led the LU effort with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Lamar finished the game with a 45-33 rebound advantage and limited the Colonels to 36.8 percent shooting in the contest. The Cardinals, on the other hand, shot a solid 45.5 percent from the floor and knocked down 10 3-pointers in the game.
In addition to the big game from Lamb, Donley Minor poured in a career-high 18 points. Anthony Miles added a double-double of 11 points and a career-high 10 assists, while Mike James came off the LU bench to finish with 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Nicholls got 22 points from then senior Anatoly Bose, although he was just 5-of-18 from the floor. Kellan Carter added 15 points and a team-high eight boards.
Lamar is coming off a poor shooting performance at Northwestern State in which the Cards shot just 32.9 percent from the floor and were 1-of-12 from 3-point range. Perhaps even more disappointing was Lamar's season-low 52.0 percent effort from the free throw line.
The Cardinals boast three of the top free throw shooters in the Southland Conference and rank second in the league as a team at 72.2 percent.
Despite the 12-point loss Wednesday, Lamar is still outscoring its opponents by 6.4 points per game. The Cards are fourth in the country in rebounding at 41.7 rebounds per game, and rank among the league leaders in steals (8.8) and blocked shots (4.4) per game.
James, who had 18 points to lead Lamar against the Demons, ranks third in the Southland in scoring average at 16.4 points per game. He is one of four Cardinals averaging over 10 points a game.
Miles is putting up 14.3 points and a team-best 3.8 assists per game. Coming off a 12-rebound effort against Northwestern State, Lamb upped his rebound average to a team-best 8.0 per game to go along with 11.2 points per game.
Charlie Harper is posting 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, as well.
Nicholls is seventh in the Southland Conference in scoring average at 65.1 points per game, but the Colonels are last in the league in scoring margin as they are being outscored by 14.5 points per game. NSU is shooting 41.5 percent from the field, 32.6 percent from 3-point range and 65.9 percent from the foul line.
The Colonels are fourth as a team in 3-pointers made per game at 6.9, but they rank 12th in the conference in rebound average (31.3), rebound margin (-9.1), steals per game (5.1) and blocked shots per game (1.6).
Freshman Trevon Lewis leads the team in scoring and rebounding. The 6-foot-5 forward is posting strong averages of 14.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, including shooting 48.4 percent from the floor.
While Lewis is the only double-figure scorer on the team, the Colonels do have five other players averaging at least 7.0 points per game. Sophomore guard Chris Talkington is scoring 9.7 points per game and leads the team with 26 3-point baskets. Sophomore guard Bryan Hammond averages 8.8 points and a team-best 3.1 assists per game.