Lamar to meet Nicholls on Thursday
March 6, 2013
THIBODAUX, La. - Lamar University will close out the 2012-13 men's basketball season this week with a pair of Southland Conference road games in southern Louisiana beginning with a 7:30 p.m. contest at Nicholls on Thursday.
The Cardinals will bring a 3-26 overall record and a 1-15 conference mark into Thursday's game. Lamar, which won the 2012 Southland Conference Tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament, will not be able to defend after finishing outside the top eight teams in the league standings.
Thursday's action can be heard live on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth providing the play-by-play.
The Cardinals are coming off a 68-50 loss to Oral Roberts on Saturday in the final home game of the 2012-13 season. Seniors Donley Minor, Stan Brown and Nikko Acosta played their last games in the Montagne Center with Minor finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds and Brown totaling 13 points and nine boards. Acosta managed one rebound in the game.
Thursday will be the 31st meeting between Lamar and Nicholls with the Cardinals holding an 22-8 series advantage. Nicholls won this season's first game 74-63 in Beaumont on Feb. 19 and has won the last two meetings. This will be the 13th game played in Thibodaux with each team winning six times.
In this season's first battle, the Cardinals got a career-high 23 points from Amos Wilson, and Rhon Mitchell added a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, but a late rally came up short. Lamar trailed 45-28 at the half as Nicholls hit 7-of-11 3-point attempts in the first 20 minutes. The Cards rallied to within seven points with three and a half minutes to play, but could pull no closer.
NSU shot 49.1 percent from the floor for the game and finished 9-of-16 from beyond the arc to offset a poor day at the free throw line (13-of-25) and being outrebounded 38-30. The Cardinals shot 43.4 percent, but were 0-for-5 from 3-point range and committed 19 turnovers which Nicholls turned into 24 points. Lamar was a healthy 17-of-22 from the foul line.
Wilson, who was 10-of-15 from the floor in the game, added seven rebounds and four assists, and Brown chipped in with nine points and 11 rebounds. Minor led everyone with seven assists.
T.J. Carpenter came off the NSU bench to score a team-high 17 points. Carpenter knocked down four treys and added six rebounds and three steals. Fred Hunter finished with 15 points and JaMarkus Horace added 11 for the Colonels.
Lamar is scoring just under 60 points per game on the season, but is averaging 67.0 per game over the last five outings. The Cards are fourth in the Southland in rebounding at 37.1 per game and their 4.2 blocked shots per game rank third in the league.
Brown leads the Cardinals with averages of 11.5 points and 7.7 rebounds on the season. Freshman Rhon Mitchell is adding 10.3 points and five rebounds per game, and Minor is putting up 9.2 points and a team-best 3.7 assists per game.
Wilson has played especially well of late as the junior forward is averaging 14.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game over the last five contests. For the year, Wilson is scoring nearly nine a game and adding 4.7 rebounds and a team-high 1.2 steals per game.
Nicholls comes into Thursday's game with an 8-19 overall record. The Colonels are coming off a 68-64 loss at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi that dropped them to 7-9 in conference play and have lost seven of their last nine games.
NSU is fourth in the conference in scoring offense (66.0 ppg), but is eighth in scoring defense (73.0 ppg allowed). The Colonels are shooting 43.5 percent from the floor, 30.6 percent from 3-point range and 66.5 percent from the free throw line. Nicholls is last in the conference in rebounding, grabbing just over 31 boards per game.
Hunter not only leads the Colonels in scoring, but his 19.2 points per game average is tops in the Southland. The 6-foot-5 Hunter is also fourth in the league in rebounding at 7.8 per game. Hunter is shooting 56.5 percent from the floor on the season and is averaging nearly eight free throw attempts per game.
Junior guard Dantrell Thomas is the posting 13.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game to rank second on the Colonels in both categories. Carpenter is adding 9.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game and leads the team with 39 3-pointers this year for an average of 1.7 makes per game.