Lamar Heads West To Face UTSA

GO CARDINALS Anthony Miles leads Lamar in scoring with 14.1 points per contest.
Anthony Miles leads Lamar in scoring with 14.1 points per contest.

Jan. 29, 2010

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** Lamar concludes its first swing through the Southland Conference's West Division with a road game at UTSA Saturday night. Both teams enter having lost their last three games.

** LU's last visit to San Antonio was a 79-72 loss last February. The game of runs saw Lamar lead 19-11 before a UTSA 14-2 run. UTSA led 26-230 at the break before the Cardinals used an 11-0 run early in the second to cut the margin to 42-41. LU secured a 52-42 lead with 14:41 remaining but UTSA fought back and eventually took a 60-58 lead with just under eight minutes to play. Their lead moved to six and the closest Lamar got was 71-67 with 3:03 on the clock.

** Lamar leads the 28-game series 16-12. The The winning team has scored at least 67 points in the last 10 meetings.

** Two players on the Lamar roster have ties to UTSA and San Antonio. Sophomore Charlie Harper prepped at Madison HS where he was a three-year letterwinner for the Mavericks. Sophomore E.B. Davis was a walk-on at UTSA as a freshman two years ago and appeared in 18 games, including 10 SLC contests.

** Lamar is 8-3 this season when scoring at least 74 points, 8-1 when leading at the half, 8-3 when shooting better from the floor and 8-2 when blocking more shots than the opposition.

** Lamar's last two victories came when it trailed at the half. Prior to the come-from-behind win over UTA, the Cards had lost 21-straight when down at the break. They are 2-10 when trailing at the break this year and 8-1 when leading. LU has trailed at the half in all five SLC games - by 14 at SLU, three vs. UTA, one vs. McNeese, 10 at AMCC and 1 vs. Texas State.

** Coaching staffs from both teams will wear sneakers during Saturday's game as part of Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend, a collaborative initiative of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Participating NABC member coaches will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their suits during this weekend's games to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Fans also are encouraged to wear sneakers to games this weekend to show their support. Lamar will also recognize the event at home on Wednesday against Central Arkansas.

Key Player Updates

Anthony Miles - G

Leads the team in scoring (14.1), assists (3.7), steals (1.4), minutes (34.3), 3-point FG pct. (.404), 3-pointers made (1.2), 3-pointers attempted (2.7), FT made (4.4) and FT attempts (5.8). He and UTA's Marquez Haynes are the only players in the SLC to rank among the top 10 in scoring and assists, while Miles also appears among the leaders in 3-point pct. and minutes.

Miles has scored in double figures 16 times and has four 20-plus point games. He scored 25 points in the win over McNeese four games ago after just 16 in the three previous games. He has gone 4-for-11 from outside in the last three games after an 0-for-7 stretch in the previous four contests. He also has three double-doubles this year and five in his career.

Justin Nabors - F

Leads the SLC and ranks 31st in the NCAA in rebounds (9.7), while leading LU in FG pct. (.512), FG made (5.3), FG attempts (10.2), while ranking second in scoring (13.7) and blocked shots (0.8). Has scored in double figures 15 times, but had his streak of 12 straight snapped with a 9-point game at SHSU. Has posted five of his SLC-leading nine double-doubles in the last eight games and is averaging 17.6 ppg and 10.4 rpg in SLC play.

He is six rebounds shy of being one of 23 players in the country to average a double-double.

Kendrick Harris - G

Third on the team in scoring (12.4), second in assists (2.9), steals (1.3) and minutes (32.5). He has produced 12 double-figure scoring games, including 10 of the last 13. Currently averaging 13.6 ppg in the last 13 contests.

Has gone 8-for-16 (.500) from 3-point range in the past five games, after just 7-for-42 (.167) in the previous 16. Tied his season-high with three steals at AMCC, vs. Texas State and at SHSU in the last three games.

Series History

Saturday's game marks the 29th all-time meeting with UTSA. The Cardinals lead the series 16-12 overall and 8-7 in San Antonio.

UTSA won both ball games last season - on a tip-in at the buzzer in Beaumont and a come-from-behind win before a large Homecoming crowd in San Antonio. Prior to that the Cardinals had won six-consecutive - including four-straight in the Alamo City - after dropping 10 of the previous 11. That stretch followed the first nine games in the teams' history in which LU came out on top in every game.

About UTSA

UTSA is 12-6 on the season but just 2-3 in Southland Conference play following consecutive losses at UTA (72-66), to A&M-Corpus Christi (66-62 in overtime) and at I-35 rival Texas State (76-62). The Roadrunners opened the season with a 10-3 non-conference mark that was highlighted by a season-opening victory at Iowa (62-50) in the CBE Classic. The 10 non-conference wins are a school record.

UTSA is a veteran team led by four players who average double figures in points and have started all 18 games - Devin Gibson 13.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 4.7 apg; Morris Smith IV 12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg and team-high 45 3-pointers; Omar Johnson 11.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg; and Terry Fields 10.3 ppg, team-high 6.2 rpg and .593 FG pct. Post man DeMarco Stepter has come on this season and averages 7.5 ppg and 5.6 rpg in 18.6 minutes per contest, while Melvin Johnson III comes off the bench with 7.8 ppg.

The Roadrunners lead the SLC in free throw percentage (.747) and 3-point field goal defense (.285). UTSA is 8-0 when holding opponents under 60 points, with five of those coming at the Convocation Center. They are 7-1 at home this season.

Brooks Thompson is 51-58 in his fourth season at UTSA, after serving as an assistant at Arizona State for two seasons. His previous head coaching experience came at Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz. (pronounced Press-kit), where he went 55-14 (.797) in two seasons from 2002-04.

Like A Good Nabors

Senior Justin Nabors is averaging 13.7 points and 9.7 rebounds, while recording an SLC-high nine double-doubles and 10 double-digit rebound games. He has missed an additional two double-doubles by just one rebound as well. In six conference games, the Holly Springs, Miss. native is putting up 16.2 points and 9.7 boards per contest. He is shooting 53.1 pct. in league play.

He has scored 613 points for a 12.3 career scoring average. He also has 390 rebounds to put his board averages at 7.8 rpg, which is on pace to finish among the school's top-15.

Lamar In The NCAA Stats

In the most recent NCAA statistics that were released on Friday, Lamar is ranked in the top half of the country in four team categories. LU is 43rd in rebound margin (+5.0), 89th in blocked shots (4.2), 87th in assists (14.5) and 145th in scoring offense (70.4).

Individually, Justin Nabors is 31st in rebounds (9.7) and 74th in field goal pct. (51.2), Charlie Harper is 149th in rebounding (7.4), Coy Custer is 94th in blocked shots (1.7) and Anthony Miles is 196th in assists (3.7).

Where The Points Are Coming From

Lamar is averaging 40.7 points per game on 2-point field goals which translates to 59.1 pct of its scoring and ranks 30th in the country. LU is getting 25.5 pct of its offense from the free throw line which is 17th nationally.

The Cardinals' shooting percentages may also be misleading because, while the team is shooting just 28.1 percent from outside, they are connecting on 48.1 pct. of their shots from inside the arc. They are shooting 43.1 on the season overall.

Rebounding A Key For LU

Lamar has been strong on the glass all season, averaging 40.1 rebounds per game with a plus-5.1 rebound margin. The rebounding off. puts LU first in the Southland while the margin is third and 43rd in the NCAA. LU ranks second in the SLC in offensive boards (14.5) and first in defensive rpg (25.5).

In league play, the Cards have a 0.0 margin and average 37.5 rpg - ranking third and ninth in the SLC, respectively.

The Cards posted season highs in rebounds (53) and rebound margin (+25) against Louisiana College (12/9). LU grabbed a season-best 24 offensive rebounds at Marshall and turned them into a season-best 30 second chance points.

Free Throw Numbers

Lamar currently ranks eighth in the SLC and 198th nationally with a .671 free throw percentage. The Cardinals have averaged 26.8 attempts per game and 18.0 makes. LU has made 19 or more FTs 11 times this season and is 9-2 in those games. In fact, LU is 8-3 when making more FTs than its opponents and 2-8 when the opponent makes more freebies or they are the same.

In six SLC games LU is averaging 19.1 makes and 30.5 attempts.



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