Lamar Returns Home to Face UTPA

GO CARDINALS Cardinals prepare to host UTPA.
Cardinals prepare to host UTPA.

Nov. 26, 2013

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UTPA Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

BEAUMONT, Texas - The Lamar men's basketball team opens a three-game homestand beginning Wednesday against Texas-Pan American. The Cardinals (1-5) opened the three-day, three-game Global Sports Showcase with a victory over Savannah State but dropped consecutive games against host Utah and Grand Canyon to close the tournament.

Lamar will face a UTPA team that is 3-4 with all three wins coming in their past five games. The Broncs defeated former Southland member Texas-San Antonio, 70-55, last time out.

The Cardinals have recorded a great deal of success against UTPA in the all-time series. Lamar holds an 11-game advantage against UTPA, 41-30 (.577), which dates back to the 1965-66 season. The record includes a 24-9 (.727) mark in Beaumont.

Despite dropping two of the three games in Salt Lake City, the Cardinals might have found some answers offensively. Through the first three games of the season Lamar was relying heavily on juniors Nimrod Hilliard and Donovan Ross to lead the team's offensive efforts. Since the Washington State game, several other players have begun to heat up. Sophomore Keilan Blanks scored a season-high 16 points against Savannah State, while sophomore Rhon Mitchell showed signs of breaking out of his slump by striking for 17 and 22 in the final two games in Utah.

The Broncs bring a veteran squad to Beaumont that consists of six seniors and three juniors. Averaging 72 points per contest, UTPA does a solid job of spreading the wealth. The Broncs have three players averaging in double digits, and a fourth players scoring 9.0 per contest. Javorn Farrell, a 6-5, senior from Woodbridge, Va., leads the team averaging 16 points per contest.

In the Broncs' two previous losses Farrell scored more than his season average, but opponents were able to keep pretty much the rest of the team in check allowing only one other player in double digits. In the loss to Houston it was a similar situation as Farrell led the team with 16 points, while only two other Broncs hit double digits.

The only break from that trend came during the season-opening loss to Sam Houston State. Against the Bearkats, four UTPA players hit double figures, led by Shaquille Boga's 17 points, while Farrell was held to three points on 1-of-8 shooting. The three-point outing in the season-opener is Farrell's lowest output of the season.

Wednesday's game against the Broncs is slated for a 7 p.m. tip off from the Montagne Center. It is the first of a three-game home stretch that equals the longest of the season.




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