Nov. 29, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas -
The color red will dominate the Montagne Center Saturday as the Lamar Cardinals (1-6) return to the court to host Arkansas State. The Cardinals enter the contest looking to put an end to a three-game skid, while Arkansas State (3-2) has dropped two of its past three contests, but is coming off a 99-56 win over Central Arkansas five nights ago.
The Red Wolves are averaging 74 points per contest, but in their two losses ASU has been held to an average of 67 points. Lamar is coming off one of its better defensive performances of the season holding Texas-Pan American to 66 points. Unfortunately, Lamar struggled offensively against the Broncs. The Cardinals starting five could manage only a 9-of-26 performance from the field, and that includes a 6-of-9 outing from senior Amos Wilson.
The Red Wolves two primary weapons offensively are UTSA transfer Melvin Johnson and 6-10 forward Kirk Van Slyke. Johnson leads the team averaging 18.4 points per game, while Van Slyke is averaging 16.2 and leads the team pulling down 5.6 rebounds per game.
Lamar continues to be led in scoring by junior college transfer Nimrod Hilliard (14.6 ppg), but lately he has been doing his part to get his teammates involved in the scoring. He has dished out 17 assists in the past two games. Hilliard came off the bench to give Lamar 13 points, five rebounds and eight assists against UTPA.
The Cardinals are looking for consistency in their offense from someone other than Hilliard. After scoring in double figures in each of the first four games, junior Donovan Ross has been held to a total of 16 points in the in past three outings.
Although Ross may have cooled off a bit, senior Amos Wilson has picked up the pace despite a slow start. The 6-5 senior from Allen, Texas has hit double-digits in each of the past three games and is averaging 13 points per contest over the team's last five games.
Saturday's contest is slated to begin at 6 p.m. from the Montagne Center.