Cards face top defense in Stephen F. Austin
Feb. 1, 2013
BEAUMONT - Lamar University will look to avenge an earlier loss at Stephen F. Austin when the Lumberjacks pay a visit to the Montagne Center on Saturday evening for a Southland Conference men's basketball battle.
The game is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. and will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the women's game. Saturday's contest can be heard live in Beaumont on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth providing the play-by-play, and will be streamed live on Lamar's web site at www.LamarCardinals.com/allaccess.
SFA won the first meeting this season by a 79-43 score in Johnson Coliseum. The 36-point victory was the largest ever for SFA in the 51-game series and gave the `Jacks a 26-25 advantage. Lamar, which won 55-44 to knock SFA out of the 2012 Southland Conference Tournament semifinals, holds a 16-10 series advantage in Beaumont.
Lamar is coming off an 85-63 loss to Northwestern State on Thursday which dropped the Cardinals to 2-19 on the year and 0-9 in the Southland Conference. The Lumberjacks, who won 59-39 at McNeese State on Wednesday, sit atop the league standing with an 8-1 conference mark and a 17-2 overall record.
Lamar will be facing the nation's stingiest defense in SFA as the Lumberjacks are allowing just 49.4 points per game. In the first meeting, SFA held the Cardinals to only four first half field goals in building a 46-16 halftime advantage.
The Lumberjacks took advantage of a season-high 29 turnovers by the Cardinals to outscore Lamar 36-2 in points off turnovers.
Freshman D.J. Muepo led Lamar with eight points, five rebounds and two blocked shots in 20 minutes off the bench. Donley Minor, who was 5-of-6 from the free throw line, added seven points and two assists.
SFA got 10 points and six rebounds from forward Taylor Smith and 10 points off the bench from Deshaunt Walker. Four other Lumberjacks scored nine points each and 12 different players scored in the game.
Senior Stan Brown is leading a Lamar offense which is scoring nearly 59 points. A 6-foot-8 forward, Brown is coming off a career-high 28 point performance against NSU which raised his scoring average to a team-high 11.0 points per game. Brown also leads the Cards with 6.7 rebounds per game.
Going into Saturday's game, Lamar looks to have an edge should the game come down to free throws. The Cardinals are third in the Southland in free throw shooting at 67.3 percent, while SFA is hitting just 59.8 percent to rank 10th in the league.
Redshirt freshman Rhon Mitchell, who had 15 points and six boards Thursday, is posting 9.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Senior guard Donley Minor leads the Cards with 3.2 assists per game to go along with his 8.7 points per outing.
Smith leads SFA with averages of 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. In Wednesday's win over McNeese, Smith finished with 21 points, 18 boards and six blocked shots for his league-leading sixth double-double of the year.
Fellow senior Antonio Bostic is putting up 10.1 points per game and adding nearly two steals per contest. Senior point guard Hal Bateman leads the Southland Conference with a 6.5 assists per game average.