Cardinals Open March at Central Arkansas

GO CARDINALS Lamar travels to Central Arkansas for Saturday showdown with the Bears.
Lamar travels to Central Arkansas for Saturday showdown with the Bears.

Feb. 28, 2014

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CONWAY, Ark. - With the end of the 2013-14 season quickly approaching, the Lamar Cardinals head to Conway, Ark., looking to close the season on positive note. Lamar has three games remaining on the docket beginning with a Southland Conference battle against Central Arkansas Saturday afternoon. The UCA Bears enter the game trying to battle their way into that coveted eighth and final spot in the Southland Conference Championship tournament. UCA is currently 7-19 (.269) on the season and ninth in the conference with a 4-11 mark (.267).

The Last Meeting
Central Arkansas106  
February 28, 2013
Montagne Center
Lamar falls short in must-win game to Central Arkansas
BEAUMONT - Facing a must-win situation Thursday night, the Lamar men's basketball team battled for 50 minutes before succumbing to visiting Central Arkansas 106-99 in a double overtime thriller that eliminated the Cardinals from qualifying for the Southland Conference Tournament.

The Bears have dropped four of their last five games but are coming off their biggest win of the season defeating Sam Houston State by nine Thursday night in Conway. Lamar (3-24/2-13) is two games back of UCA in the conference standings.

"We still have a lot to play for," said interim head coach Tic Price. "We don't have a shot at the conference tournament anymore, but now we play for pride. As an athlete, you always have something to play for. That is our job, to get ready for our next three opponents and that starts now with Central Arkansas."

The Bears are still in the hunt for a playoff berth, trying to advance to the postseason for a second consecutive season. Central Arkansas will pin their hopes on the back of 6-5 senior guard LaQuentin Miles. The Southland Conference's leading scorer, Miles is averaging better than 22 points per game, but after Miles the scoring falls off for UCA. The Bears have only one other player averaging in double digits.

Central Arkansas is averaging 74 points per game on the season, but is getting outscored by six points per contest. The Bears are also being outrebounded on average by seven boards per game. It is a similar story for Lamar, who is getting outscored by 11 points per game during conference tilts. The Cardinals have also struggled on the glass at times throughout the 2013-14 season.

Lamar enters Saturday's contest with four players averaging in double figures led by junior Nimrod Hilliard (13.9 ppg). If Lamar can finish the season with all four players (Donovan Ross, Rhon Mitchell and Amos Wilson) in double figures it would be the first time since the 2007-08 season that Lamar has had that many players finish in double digits.

The X factor for Lamar could be junior Anthony Holliday. After missing a game due to an injury, Holliday has returned as one of the team's more consistent scorers. Coming off a career-high 18 points at Oral Roberts, Holliday is averaging 14 points per game in the team's past two games.

Saturday's game will tip off 30 minutes following the women's game, and will start no earlier than 4 p.m. from the Farris Center in Conway.




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