Nov. 20, 2013
Lamar Game Notes
The Lamar Cardinals current flight pattern takes the team to Salt Lake City, Utah to compete in the Global Sports Showcase. The three-day event will have Lamar (0-3) playing three games in less than 48 hours. The Cards open the tournament against Savannah State (2-3) Thursday at 4 (5 p.m. Central time). Lamar will be back on the court Friday with a 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Central time) contest against Utah (2-0). Lamar will close out the showcase on Saturday against Grand Canyon University. The game time against the Antelopes has recently been set for 2 (3 p.m. Central time) p.m. All three games will be played in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Lamar enters the week looking for its first win of the season after starting the year with three very tough non-conference opponents. The schedule doesn't get any easier as LU faces a Savannah State team that has won two of its last three games, but is coming off a 66-63 setback at North Florida. Utah is 2-0 on the season, and will face Grand Canyon before stepping on the court against Lamar. The Utes bring a high-powered offense into the Global Sports Showcase averaging 111 points in their first two games. GCU is 1-2 (.333) on the season, but is coming off an impressive 91-41 victory over Western New Mexico.
Juniors Donovan Ross and Nimrod Hilliard have led Lamar offensively recording double figures in all three contests. Ross has been the true definition of the word consistency for the Cardinals. He is currently leading the league shooting 78 percent from the field, and has missed a total of two attempts in each game so far this season.
Through the team's first two games, both Hilliard and Ross were the only two Cardinals to hit double digits, but senior Amos Wilson made the case against Washington State that he could be a solid third option for head coach Pat Knight. After having scored only 15 points in the first two games of the season, and being held scoreless in the first half at Washington State, Wilson came to life in the final 20 minutes. The Allen, Texas native, was 7-for-10 in the second half and finished the game with a team-high 16 points. Wilson also pulled down a team-high five rebounds against the Cougars.
Despite the setback at Washington State, Lamar showed several positive signs despite facing some overwhelming odds against the Pac 12 foe. WSU had four players listed at 6-10 or taller, while Lamar had only one player at 6-9. Even though the Cardinals faced a significant height disadvantage, the Cardinals were only outrebounded by nine but Lamar recorded a seven-point advantage in second-chance points. In addition to those numbers, the Cougars could only manage a six-point advantage in the paint.
Although Lamar is only three games into the 2013-14 season, there is one negative trend the Cardinals would like to get reversed. Lamar's opponents have gotten stronger in the final 20 minutes of each game. Opponents are shooting better 55 percent from the floor in the second half this season.
The second game of the Global Sports Showcase will be televised on the Pac 12 Network. It is the third time in the first five games Lamar has been televised, and the second time it has appeared on the Pac 12 Network.