Lamar welcomes McNeese State for senior day
March 2, 2012
BEAUMONT - Senior day should prove to be an exciting event Saturday afternoon at the Montagne Center as McNeese State visits for the final regular season basketball game of the 2011-12 season. Tipoff in the men's Southland Conference contest is set for 3:30 p.m.
Not only will Lamar be recognizing a stellar six-player senior class, but the Cardinals can win the SLC East Division crown and reach the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 1987-88 season. A victory would give the Cardinals the third overall seed in next week's conference tournament from the Merrell Center in Katy.
As if that wasn't motivation enough for Lamar, the Cardinals will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak to the Cowboys and avenge a heartbreaking 57-54 loss in Lake Charles, La., earlier this season.
The game, which will follow the Lady Cardinals' 1 p.m. game against the Cowgirls, will be broadcast live on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth providing the play-by-play. It will also be streamed live on the Lamar athletics web site at www.LamarCardinals.com/allaccess.
The first meeting this season was extremely exciting as the Cardinals led by six points with just over a minute to play before McNeese's Patrick Richard scored nine straight points to pull out the victory and extend the Cardinals' winless streak in Lake Charles to 13 games.
Lamar outrebounded McNeese 46-35, but shot just 26.9 percent from the floor in the second half and 32.7 percent for the game. Lamar was just 2-of-11 from 3-point range and missed 10 free throws in 28 attempts.
Devon Lamb led Lamar with 17 points, while Charlie Harper added 11. Each player grabbed seven rebounds. LU's leading scorer Mike James scored just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, and committed seven of Lamar's 15 turnovers.
Richard finished with 25 points and seven boards. Dontae Cannon added 13 points and six caroms.
Lamar is coming off an impressive 81-65 road win at Texas State on Wednesday in which four players scored in double-figures and Lamb and Harper each posted double-doubles.
The Cardinals are third in the conference in scoring at 74.5 points per game and are outscoring their opponents by eight points. Lamar still leads the Southland in rebounding at just under 40 rebounds per contest, good enough for eighth in the country.
A solid all-around defensive team, Lamar also ranks second in the conference in steals (8.5) and blocked shots (4.2) per game. The Cardinals are turning the ball over just 12.6 times per game which is just ahead of McNeese State for best in the league.
James, who scored 15 points at Texas State before fouling out, leads LU in scoring at 16.6 points per game. He will be playing his final home game in the Montagne Center, site of his school record 52-point performance against Louisiana College next year.
Fellow senior Anthony Miles is posting 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and a team-best 4.0 assists per game. The seventh leading scorer in school history, Miles will tie Mike Olliver for most games played at Lamar when he suits up for the 122nd time Saturday.
Lamb is adding 11.8 points and a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game.
The Cowboys are eighth in the conference in scoring at 66.3 points per game, but rank fourth in scoring defense at 64.8. McNeese State is shooting 42.3 percent from the floor, 31.2 percent from 3-point range and 68.2 percent from the free throw line.
Richard not only leads the Cowboys in scoring, but he is also tops in the Southland at 18.3 points per game. He is also second on the team in rebounding at 6.3 per game and leads the Cowboys in assists at 3.1 per contest.
Three-point specialist Jeremie Mitchell is second on the team in scoring at 11.0 points per game, while backcourt mate Dontae Cannon is averaging 10.9. Transfer center Rudy Turner is posting 8.3 points and a team-best 6.4 rebounds per game.