Lamar closes season at Southeastern La.

GO CARDINALS <strong>Rhon Mitchell had a double-double in the first meeting with SLU</strong>
Rhon Mitchell had a double-double in the first meeting with SLU

March 8, 2013

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HAMMOND, La. - A year ago, Lamar University was caught up in the excitement of March Madness as the Cardinals swept through the Southland Conference Tournament to earn their sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Last Meeting
Southeastern Louisiana67
January 7, 2013
Montagne Center
Comeback falls short in 67-63 loss to Southeastern La.
BEAUMONT - Lamar University battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit Monday evening at the Montagne Center, but a barrage of missed shots late cost the Cardinals in a 67-63 Southland Conference men's basketball loss to visiting Southeastern Louisiana.

This year has been a different story as the Cardinals will close the year at Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday afternoon and miss the conference tournament. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be broadcast live on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth providing the play-by-play.

Lamar is coming off a 90-63 loss at Nicholls on Thursday that dropped the Cardinals to 3-27 overall and 1-16 in Southland Conference play. SLU is looking to lock up the fourth seed in next week's Southland Conference Tournament after a 79-68 win over McNeese State lifted the Lions to 11-17 on the year and 9-8 in league action.

This will be the 41st meeting between the two schools since 1951-52 when Lamar became a four-year institution, with the Cardinals holding a 23-17 series advantage. SLU, which has lost the last two games in Hammond, won this season's first meeting 67-63 in the Montagne Center. The Lions hold a 9-8 advantage in games played in Hammond.

Lamar and Southeastern Louisiana last met on Jan. 7 with the Cardinals battling back from a 15-point deficit to take a late lead, only to see the Lions pull it out late. Rhon Mitchell hit a jumper with 59 seconds to play to give the Cardinals a 63-62 lead, but it would be the final Lamar points as SLU closed the game with five straight points.

The Lions shot 52.4 percent from the floor in the second half and finished the game with 47.3 percent shooting. Lamar outrebounded SLU 44-32, but shot just 36.9 percent in the game.

Mitchell finished with a double-double for the Cards with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Keilan Blanks added 14 points for Lamar and Amos Wilson scored 12.

SLU, which led 37-28 at the half, got 15 points from Roosevelt Johnson and 11 points from guard Brandon Fortenberry.

Lamar comes in averaging 59.7 points per game and the Lions are scoring right at 62 per night. The Cardinals are allowing nine more points per game defensively, however. The Cardinals are also grabbing nearly four rebounds more per game than SLU.

The Cardinals, who finished 12-of-13 at the free throw line Thursday at Nicholls, are now shooting 70.1 percent as a team from the foul line to rank second in the conference. The Lions, who are third in 3-point shooting at 34.7 percent, are hitting just 65.2 percent of their free throw attempts.

Lamar senior Stan Brown, who will be playing in his final game, leads the team with averages of 11.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Mitchell is the Cards' other double-figure scorer at 10.4 points per game and he is adding nearly five rebounds per game.

Donley Minor and Nikko Acosta are the Cards' other two seniors who will be closing their Lamar careers Saturday. Minor is coming off a 14-point effort against the Colonels and is posting averages of 9.3 points and a team-best 3.7 assists per game.

Acosta has come off the bench for most of his two-year Lamar career and is currently averaging three points and two and a half rebounds per game.

Fortenberry is one of two Lions scoring in double-figures on a nightly basis. The fifth-year player is putting up 14.3 points per game and has knocked down 45 triples on the season. Fortenberry also averages 4.5 rebounds per game and leads the Lions with 78 assists and 27 steals.

Johnson is posting 10.7 points per game. The 6-foot-6 forward is also snaring 8.4 rebounds per game to lead the team and rank third in the Southland Conference. Guards Dre Evans and Jeffery Ricard are both accounting for over eight and a half points per game.




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