, Port Arthur, Texas


January 29, 2014

LU searching for third win against 4-16 Houston Baptist

BEAUMONT — After spending the previous four games on the road, the Lamar men's basketball team is looking forward to its return to the Montagne Center. One of the toughest venues for opponents to play over the years, Lamar welcomes Southland Conference newcomer Houston Baptist into the Montagne Thursday night.

The conference clash with HBU is a game between two teams looking to make a late surge up the Southland Conference standings. The Cardinals are 2-18 on the season and tied with HBU for 13th in the conference standings with a 1-7 record. Lamar just recently ended a 14-game slide with their eight-point victory at Abilene Christian.

The Huskies (4-16/1-7 SLC) enter the week looking to put and end to a four-game skid, which is the second-longest current losing streak in the Southland Conference. Prior to their last victory HBU had dropped seven straight, with the lone win being a one-point decision, 98-97, over Northwestern State. Despite having won only four games on the season, the Huskies have picked up some pretty impressive wins in addition to the victory over the Demons. During the non-conference portion of the schedule, Houston Baptist defeated Army and Rice.

Averaging better than three points per game more than HBU, Lamar enters the contest as the better shooting team from the field and beyond the arc, even though the Huskies knock down one more triple per game than Lamar. HBU has also had trouble hanging on to the basketball this season turning it over nearly 17 times per contest.

Houston Baptist has a slight edge if you look at the defensive numbers. The Huskies average nearly 36 rebounds per game, almost four per game better than LU. In addition, the Huskies are surrendering fewer points per game to their opponents than Lamar.

Sophomore Rob Lewis leads the Huskies averaging better than 11 points per game, but during Southland games Lewis is averaging fewer than nine per game. Classmate Caleb Crayton has taken over the leading scorer role in conference games scoring 10.4 per game.

It is a similar situation for the Cardinals as junior Nimrod Hilliard leads Lamar in scoring on the season, but it is a different story for the Cardinals over the course of the past six games. Hilliard still enters the week among the league's top 10 in scoring (14.9 ppg), but sophomore Rhon Mitchell and senior Amos Wilson have led the team's offensive attack over the course of the past three weeks.

Thursday's contest will tip off 30 minutes following the women's game, and will start no earlier than 7:30 p.m.

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From the Fieldhouse blog