Cardinals motivated to finish strong

Lamar Men Set for Rematch with Sam Houston State
Cardinals close three-game homestand with Saturday afternoon game

BEAUMONT, Texas – Tic Price steps on the court Saturday for his first game as Lamar's interim head coach. The Cardinals (3-22/2-11 Southland) will face Sam Houston State in a rematch of a game played two weeks ago. The Bearkats got the better of Lamar in the first meeting, 84-70, in Huntsville.

Lamar will be looking to get out to a better start this time around compared to the first meeting. The Cards dug themselves an early hole they were unable to climb out of recording only eight field goals in the opening 20 minutes. While the Cardinals were struggling offensively, SHSU took advantage shooting nearly 55 percent in the first half. The Cardinals settled down in the second half hitting nearly 60 percent from the field.

Lamar also handed Sam Houston too many opportunities from the from the free throw line, and the Bearkats took advantage. SHSU attempted 30 free throws in the game converting on 73 percent.

Sophomore Rhon Mitchell has set the pace for the Lamar offense over the course of the past three games. Leading the team during that stretch averaging 20 points per game, Mitchell scored a career-high 26 points last time out against Northwestern State. The Cardinals are still being lead in scoring on the season by junior Nimrod Hilliard, but for the first time all season Hilliard's average has fallen under 14 points per game (13.7 ppg). In addition to Mitchell and Hilliard, junior Donovan Ross has stepped up his play and is averaging 17 points per game over the past three games.

The Bearkats enter the week 18-7 overall, and second in the Southland with a 10-3 record. SHSU is still in the hunt for a league title, but time has become a factor. SHSU is currently three games back of the leaders with only five games remaining in the season.

One of the better scoring teams in the league (77.9 ppg), it can't be overlooked what Sam Houston does on the defensive end. The ‘Kats are among the league leaders averaging better than seven steals per game and pulling down nearly 36 rebounds per game. On the flipside, Sam Houston is also among the league best averaging better than seven three-pointers per game.

Jabari Peters (12.4 ppg) is one of two SHSU players who averages in double figures for a team that scores nearly 80 points per contest. Sam Houston is shooting 46 percent from the field, and just under 40 percent from the three-point arc while Lamar is shooting 44 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point land.

Saturday's contest will tip off 30 minutes following the conclusion of the women's game, and will begin no earlier than 6 p.m. from the Montagne Center.



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