Lamar and UTSA to meet Saturday at 2 in the Montagne Center
Feb. 3, 2012
BEAUMONT - Lamar University will be looking for a third straight win Saturday afternoon at the Montagne Center as the Cardinals open the second half of the Southland Conference men's basketball season against UTSA. Tipoff for the game is set for 2 p.m.
With eight conference games to play, Lamar (14-8 overall, 5-3 in the Southland) sits in third place in the East Division standings. The Roadrunners (14-8) are tied with Stephen F. Austin for second in the West Division with a 6-2 conference mark.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth providing the play-by-play, and will be streamed live at www.LamarCardinals.com/allaccess. It will also be Education Appreciation day at the Montagne Center with all Pre-K through seventh grade students, and all teachers, receiving free admission with a valid ID.
Lamar is coming off a pair of convincing wins as it knocked off Nicholls at home last Saturday 80-56 and more recently won 83-59 at Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday. The Cardinals shot better than 50.0 percent from the floor in both games, including a season-high 62.0 percent against the Colonels.
This will be the 32nd meeting between the two schools, but last regular season Southland Conference game as the Roadrunners begin play in the Western Athletic Conference next season. Lamar holds a 17-14 overall series advantage and a 7-5 lead in Beaumont.
UTSA has won the last two meetings, including a 70-64 home win last year in the only meeting between the two schools.
After trailing for much of the game in last year's contest, Lamar grabbed a 56-55 lead with 5:40 to play on an Anthony Miles jumper. UTSA would tie it at 58 and then take the lead for good with just under four minutes to play on a pair of Melvin Johnson III free throws that made it 60-58.
The Cards held UTSA to just 33.9 percent shooting from the floor, making four more field goals and four more 3-pointers. However, the Roadrunners were 25-of-34 from the foul line while Lamar was just 7-of-13.
Current junior Donley Minor scored a then career-high 17 points to lead the Cards, knocking down five of Lamar's nine 3-pointers. Miles added 13 points off the bench, and Coy Custer finished with 11. Devon Lamb did not score in the game, but led Lamar with 10 rebounds.
Johnson III scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Roadrunners. Devin Gibson added 16 points and six assists, and Jeromie Hill finished with seven points and a game-high 11 boards.
Lamar has improved its shooting percentage to 43.3 percent on the year, good enough for sixth in the Southland. The Cards are now fourth in the league in 3-point shooting at 35.5 percent after finishing 5-of-10 against Nicholls and 7-of-13 at SLU.
The Roadrunners are the top shooting team in the Southland Conference, leading the league in field goal percentage (45.2), 3-point percentage (40.4) and free throw percentage (76.0). UTSA is tied for 10th in the nation in 3-point shooting and is 11th in free throw shooting.
Lamar ranks third in the Southland in scoring average at 75.5 points per game, just ahead of UTSA's 75.3 scoring average. The Roadrunners are slightly better defensively, giving up 66.5 points per game as compared to Lamar's 67.5.
The Cardinals continue to lead the Southland in rebounding at 40.8 per game, and they are grabbing six rebounds per outing more than their opponent. UTSA, which leads the conference with 8.5 3-pointers made per game, is 11th in rebounding (33.2 per game).
Senior guard Mike James scored just nine points at SLU to snap a streak of four straight games where he had scored at least 16. James leads Lamar in scoring at 16.3 points per game, and is second on the team with 1.8 steals per contest.
Brandon Davis is coming off back-to-back double-figure scoring games as he has started the last two games in place of Charlie Harper. Davis scored 13 against Nicholls and then led Lamar with 21 on Wednesday night to raise his scoring average to 9.8 points per game. The 6-foot-6 Davis leads Lamar with 42 3-pointers.
Miles is second on the team in scoring average at 14.5 points per game, and his 3.8 assists per game lead the team. Miles needs 18 points to move into 10th place on Lamar's all-time scoring list. The Houston native enters Saturday's game with 1,299 career points.
Johnson III leads the Roadrunners in scoring at 14.2 points per game and leads the Southland in 3-pointers per game at 2.5. Junior transfer Kannon Burrage is just behind in scoring at 14.0 ppg. Hill is adding 12.7 points per game and leads the team in rebounding at 6.3, while junior guard Michael Hale III is averaging 9.5 points and a team-best 3.0 assists per game.