Lamar welcomes LIU Brooklyn on Saturday
Dec. 27, 2012
BEAUMONT - After nearly two months away from the Montagne Center to open the season, the Lamar University men's basketball team will finally play its 2012-13 home opener when the Cardinals host LIU Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
The Cardinals, who lost 75-70 at Texas-Pan American two weeks ago for their sixth straight loss, bring a 1-10 record into Saturday's action. The game will be broadcast live on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth handling the play-by-play.
Not only will Lamar be meeting the Blackbirds (5-6) for the first time ever, but it will also be facing a current member of the Northeast Conference for the first time. LIU will also be facing a current Southland Conference team for the first time in its history.
Lamar led UTPA 31-27 at the half in its last outing for its first halftime lead of the season. The Broncs shot 70.4 percent from the floor in the second half to pull out the home win. Donley Minor and Amos Wilson each scored 15 points to lead the Cardinals. Wilson added five rebounds, while Minor dished out a team-high four assists. Stan Brown added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Lamar will be playing its 62nd home opener and the Cardinals have fashioned a 53-8 record in the previous 61 games. Lamar, which has won its last 10 home openers, will be playing its latest home opener ever. The Cardinals' last loss in a home opener came on Nov. 24, 2001, when Texas A&M pulled out a 77-74 win in the Montagne Center.
The Cardinals enter the game averaging 57.3 points per game on offense while shooting 41.3 percent from the floor as a team. Lamar, which is allowing nearly 77 points per game, is shooting 28.4 percent from 3-point range and 67.9 percent from the free throw line.
Redshirt freshman Rhon Mitchell leads the Cardinals in scoring at 11.3 points per game and ranks second in rebounding at 4.9 boards per game. Mitchell is coming off a 6-point effort at UTPA on just 3-of-10 shooting after scoring 40 points in the Cards' previous two games at Louisiana-Lafayette and Baylor.
Minor is scoring 10.1 points per game and leads the Cards with 2.9 assists per game. The senior guard is averaging five assists per game over his last three outings. Senior forward Stan Brown is adding 9.4 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game.
LIU Brooklyn returns nine letterwinners off last year's 25-9 team which advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Blackbirds are one of the top scoring teams in the nation at 76.6 points per game. LIU, which is coming off an 89-58 loss to Seton Hall, is giving up78.4 points per game. LIU is shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, 37.4 percent from 3-point range and 70.7 percent from the free throw line.
Senior forward Jamal Olasewere has started all 11 games and leads the team in scoring (19.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg). Senior forward Julian Boyd, one of six native Texans on the team, was averaging 18.5 points per game before a season-ending injury. Junior guard Jason Brickman is adding 10.0 points and a team-best 7.9 assists per game which ranks among the top 10 in the country.