HAMMOND, La. – Lamar had four players score in double figures, and shot nearly 50 percent for the game, but couldn't overcome a Southeastern Louisiana team (8-9/3-3 SLC) that knocked down 16 three-pointers. The Lions defeated Lamar, 91-65, Saturday afternoon at the University Center. The loss drops Lamar to 1-17 overall and 0-6 in Southland Conference play.
In addition to the Lions accuracy from beyond the arc, Southeastern got a huge boost from its bench. The Lions bench scored 52 of the team's 91 points, while Lamar's reserves scored nine.
"I don't know if I've ever seen a team hit so many jump shots like I did tonight by Southeastern," said head coach Pat Knight. "I can't be mad at our defense, because it's not like we were getting beat in the post or on the drive they just hit a lot of tough shots. We had hands in their face but give them credit, they just hit a lot of tough shots."
Lamar knocked down three of their first five attempts, and scored the game's first six points, but Southeastern Louisiana stayed close early by knocking down four of their first six attempts from beyond the three-point arc. Despite the Lions' accuracy from long range, Lamar held the advantage for the first 9:38 of the contest.
Southeastern's JaMichael Hawkins hit a three with 10:22 on the clock to give the Lions their first lead of the game, 15-14. That three sparked a 16-3 run that covered more than four minutes of game time to give SLU a 10-point lead, 25-15. The Lions pushed that lead to 20 points, and took the 20-point lead into the locker room, 47-27.
Lamar was 11-of-27 (41 percent) in the opening 20 minutes, but didn't have an answer for Southeastern Louisiana's long-range shooting. The Lions were 17-of-31 (.548) from the field, including 7-of-11 (64 percent) from beyond the arc. In addition to the SLU's success from beyond the arc, the Lions made Lamar pay for its opening-half turnovers scoring 11 points on seven miscues, while the Cards could manage only two points off four Southeastern mistakes.
Lamar opened the second half on a 12-5 to cut the deficit 13 points, 52-39, but the Lions responded by scoring the game's next 10 points to push the advantage back to 23 points. The Cardinals were unable to seriously threaten the homestanding Lions after that.
Lamar finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field, including a 4-of-8 (.500) mark from three-point land. The Lions had too much firepower Saturday finishing the game 34-of-60 (.567) from the field, and 16-of-27 (.593) on threes.
Junior Donovan Ross led the Lamar effort with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Amos Wilson added 14, while junior Nimrod Hilliard and sophomore Rhon Mitchell each added 12. The Lions were led by JaMichael Hawkins who came off the bench to score 25 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting.
Lamar returns to action Thursday when they travel to Abilene, Texas to take on Southland newcomer Abilene Christian. The game against ACU is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.