Lamar Hosts Lyon College Saturday Night

GO CARDINALS Head coach Steve Roccaforte is 19-23 at Lamar.
Head coach Steve Roccaforte is 19-23 at Lamar.

Dec. 28, 2007

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For Openers
Lamar continues on its brief two-game homestand after a break for the Christmas holiday when the Cardinals play host to Lyon College in the final game of the 2007 calendar year.

Lamar-Lyon Series History
This is the first-ever meeting between the Cardinals and Lyon. The last time Lamar met a team from Arkansas was two years ago when Billy Tubbs' final team won at Arkansas State, 91-81, on Dec. 14, 2005.

Texas Tech Game Time Changed
Due to Texas Tech's Gator Bowl football game on Jan. 1, Lamar's game against the Red Raiders in Lubbock has been moved to 6 p.m. CST.

The Season of Giving... and Keeping
Over the last four games, Lamar has averaged 17.8 assists per game, compared to just over 12 apg during the first six games. In fact, the Cardinals have assisted on 57.3 percent of their field goals over the stretch. Lamar has also done a better job of taking care of the basketball, turning it over 14.8 times - well below the 17.7 early on in the season. In fact, LU's turnover margin has gone from +1.5 to +7.3 and sits at +3.8 on the season, which leads the Southland Conference.

Lamar With Three In SLC Top 15 In 3-Pointers
By virtue of his 3-for-5 performance from behind the arc last week against Rice, Brandon McThay moved into first place in the Southland Conference in threepoint field goal accuracy, checking in at 47.6 percent on 10-of-21 this season. Additionally, Kenny Dawkins ranks fourth at 43.1% and Currye Todd is 15th at 36.7%. Lamar is the only school with three players in the top 15. As a team, the Cardinals rank fifth at 33.2% and third in 3-pointers made per game at 7.3.

More On The 3-Ball
Since Steve Roccaforte took over at Lamar last season, the Cardinals have made 339 total 3-pointers for an average of 8.1 per game. In the 42 games, LU has made at least 10 treys 14 times, including three this year. The season-high 16 made against Louisiana College on Dec. 8 are tied for the third-most in school history and the second-most in the SLC this season. Only once in the past two seasons have the Cardinals failed to make less than four in a game (vs. NSU in the SLC Tournament).

Sanders Nine Points Shy Of 500 At Lamar
Senior F Lamar Sanders moved closer to 500 career points as a Cardinal with his nine-point, 11-rebound game against Rice last week. He enters the Lyon game with 491 points in 42 games in a Cardinal jersey. The preseason All-SLC pick from Hickory Flat, Miss., has averaged 11.7 points in 42 games - all starts. Sanders was named Second Team All-SLC a year ago after scoring 391 points for a 12.2 ppg average and pulling down a leagubest 9.8 rpg.

Barrow Sitting On 99 Career 3-Pointers Made
Senior G Matthew Barrow has made 99 career threepoint field goals in his 2-plus seasons with the Cardinals. He connected on 35 treys as a sophomore and 50 a year ago. He is currently 27 away from cracking the Lamar career top-10 list.

Dawkins Third In SLC In Minutes Played; 11 Cardinals With 10-plus MPG
Junior G Kenny Dawkins enters the Lyon game ranked third in the SLC in minutes played at 31.7. While that is nearly six minutes more per outing than Lamar Sanders' 26 mpg, all 11 regular players for the Cardinals are averaging at least 10 mpg. Over the last four games, head coach Steve Roccaforte has implemented the same starting lineup and has nine players averaging 10-plus mpg, with no players on the floor for more than 29 mpg.

Scouting Lyon
Lyon College, which is located in Batesville, Ark., comes to Beaumont with a 5-4 record after dropping its most recent game, 76-70, at Central Baptist College. Prior to that Dec. 14 contest, the Scots had won three consecutive. Lyon is 2-3 on the road this year. As a team, Lyon is averaging 70 points per game and shooting 44 percent from the floor. The Scots have pulled down 37.7 rebounds per game while limiting their opponents to just 30 rpg. Senior forward Levi Taylor leads the team in scoring (18.2 ppg), rebounding (6.2 rpg), blocks (13 total) and steals (9 total). He is also a threat from the outside as his 17 3-pointers made leads the team. Senior Jonathan Donaldson is the only other Scot to post double figures in scoring (16.2) and averages 3.6 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game.

Last Game - Lamar 66, Rice 49
Brandon McThay made three first-half 3 pointers and Lamar University closed the opening 20 minutes on a 21-7 run as the Cardinals defeated Rice, 66-49, at the Montagne Center last Saturday night. All of McThay's game-high 13 points came in the opening half as he was perfect from the floor in converting a pair of layups to go with his triples. He has now scored 48 points in the last four games as the Cardinals have gone 3-1. Lawrence Nwevo finished with 11 points and Matthew Barrow came off the bench to add 10 points and six rebounds. Lamar (4-6) shot 52 percent in the first half thanks in large part to a 6-of-11 effort from 3-point range. The Cardinals also executed their full court pressure to the tone of 20 points from 14 Owl turnovers. With the scored tied at 2-2 two minutes into the game, Lamar opened up a 20-6 lead as six different players scored during the 18-4 stretch that included three 3-pointers and a pair of fastbreak layups. Lamar saw its lead move to 25 points following three consecutive Nwevo buckets in the lane, with the last coming at 16:23. Rice then began chipping away and cut the margin to 55-48 with 5:56 remaining but couldn't get any closer. Lamar closed the game on an 11-1 run with its last seven points coming from the charity stripe. The Cardinals shot just 61 percent from the free-throw line but Rice wasn't any better, converting just 59 percent of its 22 attempts. Lamar snapped a six-game losing streak to Rice and improved to 3-0 against the Owls in games played on Dec. 22. Rice leads the series 16-7. The Cardinals out-rebounded the Owls 40-30, including an 18-8 edge on the offensive glass. Lamar also got 23 points from its bench.

Rice Leftovers
• Lamar players drew four charges - Matthew Barrow, Justin Nabors, Lawrence Nwevo and Lamar Sanders
• Lamar assisted on 14 of its 23 field goals for 60.9 pct. mark - its second-highest this season behind the 62.5 mark against Wyoming
• Lamar forced three 10-second violations and forced seven turnovers as a direct result of its full-court press. The Cardinals got 11 points off those opportunities.



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