LU men's basketball team falls in season finale
BEAUMONT, Texas – Senior Amos Wilson closed out his Lamar career with one of the best performances as a Cardinal. The team’s lone senior, Wilson led all players with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but the night was a disappointment for Wilson, and his teammates, as Southeastern Louisiana held on for a 71-62 victory over Lamar Saturday evening at the Montagne Center.
Lamar finishes the season with a 4-26 overall record, and a 3-15 mark in Southland Conference play.
The double-double, which was his third of the season, highlighted a night that saw Lamar struggle from the field. The Cardinals finished the game 19-of-58 (.328) from the field, after opening with a 24-percent performance in the opening half.
“My focus tonight wasn’t to come out and score a lot of points,” said Wilson who was honored prior to the game. “I just wanted to come out and do what I could to help us win. What coach wanted me to do was work and hard and play defense and that is what I tried to do.”
“Amos played really hard tonight. He ended his career with a double-double. That is the type of effort you expect from your seniors. We are going to miss Amos, and I wish we could’ve had a better season for him,” added interim head coach Tic Price.
Despite their offensive struggles, and being down by 11 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half, Lamar found itself down only three at the intermission. Lamar relied on its defense, and its work on the glass to keep them in the game. SLU was limited to eight first-half field goals, and the Cardinals outrebounded their guests by six. The Cardinals turned their advantage on the glass into points building an 8-2 gap in second chance points.
Although Lamar shot the ball better in the final 20 minutes, it could never maintain a sustained run watching the deficit grow to 10 points less than six minutes into the half. The Cards cut the deficit down to five points with 11:29 remaining before Southeastern outscored LU, 16-8, over the next five minutes to push the lead to 13. The lead would grow to 14 points before Lamar rallied to cut it back to single digits for the final tally.
“Probably the most disappointing part about tonight’s game is that we didn’t score any fast break points,” said Price. “Their zone defense really had a lot to do with it. It really slowed us down tonight. We also gave them a lot of and-one situations in the second half. That, along with the fact that we were not able to make shots, especially on the perimeter, really hurt us.”
Lamar outrebounded Southeastern, 39-30, on the night. The Cardinals finished the game with a 13-4 advantage in second chance points, and received a huge lift from the bench. The LU reserves scored 22 points, led by junior Octavius Green’s 11 points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting, including two three pointers. Sophomore Marcus Owens came off the bench to add nine points on 3-of-6 shooting for the Cardinals. Junior Nimrod Hilliard closed out the season with 10 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
In the end, Lamar didn’t have enough answers to overcome a Lions offense that finished the night with four players in double figures, led by Devonte Upson’s 16 points and 10 rebounds. JaMichael Hawkins added 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting.