Cardinals still in search of first SLC win
BEAUMONT – Senior forward Stan Brown’s career night went for naught Thursday evening at the Montagne Center as visiting Northwestern State handed Lamar University an 85-63 Southland Conference men’s basketball loss.
Brown hit 13 of his 19 shots from the field en route to a career-high 28 points, adding 12 rebounds for his fourth career double-double. The Dolton, Ill., native matched a career-high 38 minutes played and didn’t leave the floor in the second half.
“Stan was great,” said LU head coach Pat Knight. “He was great in the huddle getting on guys just trying to get them to play harder. You have to give him credit. He wasn’t pouting and just played. I thought he did a great job of playing and trying to motivate his teammates.”
After trailing 38-27 at the half, the Cardinals (2-19 overall, 0-9 in the Southland) pulled to within nine points early in the second half on a Brown jumper that made it 40-31. The Demons (13-6 overall, 7-2 in the Southland) went on a 15-4 run to build a 20-point lead with 15:50 to play.
D.J. Muepo hit a pair of free throws, Brown added a layup and Rhon Mitchell hit a jumper in the lane to cap a 6-0 Lamar run that made it 55-41 with 13:32 to play. NSU scored the following nine points, however, to build a 64-41 lead and Lamar couldn’t get it under 20 the rest of the way.
As has plagued the Cardinals all season, turnovers were once again an issue Thursday evening. Lamar committed 23 on the night and NSU, which had 17 of its own, finished the game with a 28-16 advantage in points off turnovers.
“They just attacked us and our guards have been horrendous,” Knight said about his team’s offensive struggles. “We just threw the ball all over the place and that was the difference. They did a good job of attacking our guards and we had a hard time just getting the ball in play.
“It’s really frustrating when guys show they can do something in a game and then we don’t see it for another two or three games. The one thing we did, I thought we played hard the whole game. I didn’t think we let up, but every turnover we had led to a layup.”
The Demons hit 49.3 percent from the floor and went 6-of-18 from 3-point range. The Cardinals attempted just one 3-pointer on the night, a miss, and finished the game 26-of-60 (43.3 percent) from the floor.
Mitchell finished with 15 points and six rebounds for the Cardinals, but also committed a game-high seven turnovers on the night. Mitchell was just 3-of-6 from the free throw line and as a team, Lamar shot just 11-of-21 from the charity stripe.
Senior Donley Minor finished with six points and six of Lamar’s 15 assists in the game. His backcourt mate, freshman Donnell Minton, added six points, four rebounds and four assists.
The Demons’ DeQuan Hicks came off the bench to pour in 22 points and grab a team-high nine rebounds in just 17 minutes of work. Reserve Gary Roberson added 10 points as NSU finished with a 63-7 advantage in bench points.
Redshirt freshman Jalan West added nine points, five assists and four steals for NSU, while senior guard Shamir Davis added seven points and six of the Demons’ 22 assists.
Lamar will stay at home for a 6 p.m game Saturday against Stephen F. Austin. For ticket information, call (409) 880-1715, or visit www.lamarcardinals.com.
Friday, August 2 2013, 10:28 PM CDT