Lamar (0-4) vs. IUPUI (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: John Paul Jones Arena (14,593) - Charlottesville, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: Lamar 0-0, IUPUI 1-1. Away Record: Lamar 0-3, IUPUI 0-1. Neutral Record: Lamar 0-1, IUPUI 1-1. Conference Record: Lamar 0-0, IUPUI 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Second-round consolation action in the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off provides the setting for the first-ever meeting between the Lamar Cardinals and the IUPUI Jaguars, as the teams collide at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia on Tuesday.
For the Cardinals, the early portion of the campaign has been somewhat painful without the benefit of a single victory. In fact, with their 63-44 setback against Virginia in this same venue on Monday, the team has now lost by at least 15 points in every contest and that cannot be sitting well with head coach Pat Knight who knows full well that it wasn't that long ago that Lamar was one of the top scoring teams in the country.
As for the Jaguars, they've hit a number of bumps in the road recently as well, dropping two in a row and three of their last four since tipping off the 2012-13 campaign with a 67-54 triumph versus Utah Valley. On Monday, the team was taken down by the North Texas Mean Green in an 80-66 final.
Lamar scored the first points of the game against Virginia on Monday, but then fell behind by double figures shortly thereafter, en route to the lopsided setback. The Cardinals shot a disappointing 32.6 percent form the field and turned the ball over 14 times, attempting a total of just six three-point shots even though the trailed almost the entire way. Stan Brown tallied a team-best 11 points and pulled down six rebounds, followed by Nikko Acosta who dropped in 10 points in a reserve role. Even though he didn't score in double figures yesterday, Rhon Mitchell still leads the team as the lone double-digit scorer with his 12.5 ppg, shooting 53.5 percent from the floor. Unfortunately, the rest of the unit simply hasn't been productive and now the squad as a whole is hitting on just 37.4 percent from the field and 9-of-31 (.290) beyond the arc as they are being outscored by nearly 20 points per game.
Like Lamar, the Jags led their game against North Texas in the opening moments of the first half, but from there trailed the rest of the way, by as many as 21 points in the second half as they suffered the 14-point loss to the Mean Green. One of four to score in double figures for the group, Lyonell Gaines came off the bench to register a double-double with 17 points and a game- high 12 rebounds, eight of which came at the offensive end of the floor, but it wasn't nearly enough. Mitchell Patton, P.J. Hubert and John Hart all tallied 12 points for IUPUI in the setback as well as the team made good on just 37.5 percent from the floor and 5-of-21 behind the three-point line. Patton has led the team in scoring only once so far this season, yet he heads the list overall with his 15.6 ppg and is also second on the unit with 6.6 rpg, while Hart carries a 15.0 ppg average, thanks in large part to his 12- of-30 showing beyond the arc. Hart, who has led the program in scoring three times this season, is also first with nine steals and tied for the lead with 16 assists in the early going.
Clearly this is not the Lamar team that could produce points at-will just a few years back, and if coach Knight doesn't give the green light for his team to shoot from three-point range even when they are losing, what hope do they have?
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: IUPUI 66, Lamar 60
11/20 10:51:01 ET