Lamar welcomes Texas State for ESPN BracketBusters
Feb. 21, 2013
BEAUMONT - Lamar University will take a break from Southland Conference play Saturday evening when the Cardinals welcome former league rival Texas State to the Montagne Center for a non-conference men's basketball game drawn from the ESPN BracketBusters pool. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
This is the 11th and final edition of the BracketBusters as ESPN announced in December that it will not continue the event beyond 2013. This season's BracketBusters includes 122 schools from 13 conferences with 13 games being televised on ESPN-affiliated networks.
This is the second straight season that Lamar has been a part of the BracketBusters field. The Cardinals played at George Mason last year, falling 75-71. The Patriots will return to the Montagne Center next season as part of the BracketBusters agreement.
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. It is also Jersey Day and all local hoopsters, 8th grade or younger, will receive free admission by wearing their team jersey.
Lamar and Texas State competed as members of the Lone Star Conference from 1951-52, when Lamar became a four-year institution, until the 1962-63 season when Lamar left to become a founding member of the Southland Conference. The two became conference rivals again beginning with the 1998-99 season when the Cardinals rejoined the Southland Conference through last season when the Bobcats left to join the Western Athletic Conference.
This will be the 55th meeting between the two schools in men's basketball with the Cardinals holding a 29-25 series advantage. Lamar, which won last year's only meeting 81-65 in San Marcos, owns a 17-10 edge in Beaumont. The Cardinals have won the last two games and seven of the last 10.
The Cardinals are coming off a 74-63 home loss on Tuesday to Nicholls that dropped them to 3-23 on the season. Texas State is 7-19 on the year and brings a five-game losing streak into the Montagne Center following its 73-62 home loss to UTSA on Saturday.
Junior forward Amos Wilson is coming off a career-high 23 point performance against the Colonels. Wilson was 10-of-15 from the floor, adding seven rebounds and four assists. Redshirt freshman Rhon Mitchell posted his fourth double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Nicholls.
Lamar led last year's meeting with Texas State wire-to-wire, building a 44-27 halftime advantage and never letting its lead drop to less than eight points. The Cardinals finished 22-of-28 from the free throw line in the game and outrebounded the Bobcats 46-37.
Lamar's Anthony Miles led all players with 25 points, adding eight rebounds and eight assists. Devon Lamb and Charlie Harper added double-doubles for the Cardinals with Lamb posting 18 points and 13 rebounds and Harper finishing with 11 points and 12 boards.
Matt Staff led the Bobcats with 17 points and 11 rebounds, but was just 7-of-18 from the floor. John Bowman and Travis Jones finished with 13 points each, while Vonn Jones registered nine points and a game-high seven assists.
The two teams are averaging similar defensive numbers with the Cardinals allowing 75.9 points per game and Texas State giving up about a point more. However, the Bobcats are scoring 70.0 per contest offensively while Lamar is putting up 58.3 points per game.
Senior forward Stan Brown leads Lamar with averages of 11.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Mitchell is chipping in with 9.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and Donley Minor is handing out a team best 3.5 assists per contest to go along with nearly nine points.
Junior forward Joel Wright, who has come off the bench 11 times this season for Texas State, leads the team with averages of 17.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Staff is the other double-figure scorer on the team at 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and a team-best 1.3 blocked shots per game.
For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715, or visit http://www.lamarcardinals.com/tickets/mhoops-tickets.html.