Cardinals and Bearkats to meet Saturday afternoon
Feb. 8, 2013
HUNTSVILLE - Fresh off its dramatic 67-63 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Lamar men's basketball team will look for its second straight Southland Conference road win when the Cardinals take on Sam Houston State on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. from Johnson Coliseum.
Senior guard Donley Minor hit a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds to play Thursday evening to complete the Cards' comeback from a 13-point deficit to the Islanders. The win snapped a 10-game losing streak and lifted the Cardinals to a 3-20 record and a 1-10 league mark.
Sam Houston State, which won the first meeting over Lamar 68-57 on Jan. 10, is coming off a 59-58 overtime home loss to McNeese State on Thursday. The Bearkats will bring a 12-10 overall record and 5-5 Southland mark into Saturday's contest.
The game, which will follow the women's 1:30 p.m. contest, will be broadcast live on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth calling the action.
This will be the 56th meeting between the two schools since 1951-52 when Lamar became a four-year institution. The Cardinals, who won 72-49 in Johnson Coliseum last year, hold a 29-26 series advantage. Sam Houston State leads the series 15-9 in Huntsville.
In the first meeting this season, Sam Houston scored 28 points off LU's 20 turnovers to overcome a poor shooting night. The Bearkats, who led 33-29 at the half, shot just 37.5 percent from the floor, but grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and enjoyed a 21-6 advantage in second chance points.
Three Cardinals scored in double-figures, led by Amos Wilson with 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Keilan Blanks came off the bench to register 11 points and four assists and Minor added 10 points.
Terrance Motley led Sam Houston with 14 points and eight boards off the bench. Darius Gatson added 11 points, including an 8-for-8 effort from the free throw line, and Michael Holyfield led all players with nine rebounds.
Lamar comes into the contest averaging just under 59 points per game on offense as compared to the Bearkats who are scoring nearly 65 a night. Defensively, Sam Houston is the second stingiest unit in the league at 61.1 points per game allowed. Lamar is giving up 76 per contest.
The Bearkats are last in the 10-team Southland Conference in shooting percentage at 37.8 percent, but are second in 3-pointers per game at 6.5. Lamar is shooting 40.9 percent from the field as a team and ranks third in the league in free throw shooting at 68.3 percent.
Senior Stan Brown is leading the Cardinals this season with averages of 11.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-8 forward finished with 22 points and nine rebounds on Thursday at AMCC and has averaged nearly 17 points and 8.4 rebounds over the last five games.
Rhon Mitchell, who notched his third double-double of the year on Thursday with 13 points and a career-best 13 rebounds, is adding nearly 10 points per game. The redshirt freshman forward is second on the team in rebounding at 5.0 per game and is tied with Brown with 18 blocked shots.
Minor finished with 16 points and six assists against the Islanders. The fourth-year player is averaging nine points and a team-best 3.3 assists per game and is coming off a 4-of-6 effort from 3-point range.
Sam Houston State does not have a player averaging more than nine points per game with Gatson leading the way at 8.7 per outing. The senior guard is also registering 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game to pace the Bearkats.
Junior guard DeMarcus Gatlin is adding 8.1 points and two assists per game, while Motley is averaging a team-high 5.5 rebounds per game to go along with his seven points.