Lamar Set to Host New Orleans

GO CARDINALS Lamar hosts New Orleans Thursday evening at the Montagne Center.
Lamar hosts New Orleans Thursday evening at the Montagne Center.

March 5, 2014

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BEAUMONT, Texas - The Lamar men's basketball team returns home for the final two games of the 2013-14 season looking to put an end to a seven-game losing streak, and end the year on a positive note. The Cardinals (3-25/2-14 Southland) return to action Thursday when they step on the floor in the rematch with New Orleans. In their first year of Southland Conference membership, the Privateers enter the week with an 11-13 (.458) overall record and tied for seventh in the conference with an 8-8 league mark, but are not eligible for postseason play.

The Last Meeting
New Orleans77
January 16, 2014
New Orleans, La.
Lamar Falls After Late UNO Run
New Orleans (5-8/2-3 SLC) used a late surge to break open a close game defeating Lamar, 77-55, Thursday evening at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. The loss drops Lamar to 1-16 on the season and 1-5 in Southland Conference play.

UNO enters Thursday's game in a similar position to Lamar, trying to right the ship. The Privateers have dropped consecutive games, and three of the last four, and are coming off an 84-71 setback against Northwestern State.

The Cardinals have dropped seven straight but four of those five games, including each of the past three have been losses by nine points or less, including No. 2 ( Mid Major Top 25 poll) Stephen F. Austin.

UNO got the best of Lamar in the first meeting of the season back in January. The game was a close back-and-forth affair in the first half that saw New Orleans take a four-point lead into the locker room. The Privateers got hot from beyond the arc in the second, nailing five three-pointers, to pull away from the Cardinals for a 77-55 victory. After being held below 40 percent in the opening half, New Orleans exploded for a 65-percent effort from the field in the second half.

Lamar has seen a resurgence from junior Nimrod Hilliard over the course of the past two weeks of the season. The team's leading scoring, Hilliard had scored below his season average during an 11-game stretch but has rebounded in the past three games. Dating back to a 21-point outing against Sam Houston State, Hilliard is averaging 17.6 points per game in the team's last three outings. He just missed a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds at Central Arkansas Saturday.

Hilliard leads a quartet of Cardinals who are averaging double digits this season, which doesn't include the play of junior Anthony Holliday. The Los Angeles, Calif., native is averaging less than six points per game, but has played some of his best basketball of the season in the past two games. Holliday scored a career-high 18 points at Oral Roberts, and is averaging 14 per game in the last two outings.

The Privateers are led by Cory Dixon's 13.6 points per game, but he is the lone UNO player in double digits. However, Dixon wasn't the primary threat in the first meeting between LU and New Orleans. Kevin Hill led the Privateers with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Tradarrius McPhearson added 17 points. Dixon finished the game with 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting.

Thursday's game is slated to tip off 30 minutes following the conclusion of the women's game, and will not start before 7:30 p.m. Lamar will be back on the court Saturday to close out the season against Southeastern Louisiana. The Cardinals will recognize lone senior Amos Wilson prior to the game.

The first 200 students to arrive at the opening game of Thursday's doubleheader will receive a free T-shirt and a free slice of pizza. Lamar students receive free admission to all games with a valid Lamar ID. Fans attending Saturday's game will receive a free sport bottle courtesy of Raymond James.




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