Lamar basketball welcomes Northwestern State on Thursday - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Lamar basketball welcomes Northwestern State on Thursday

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Lamar basketball welcomes Northwestern State on Thursday

BEAUMONT – Lamar University will face the nation's top offense Thursday evening at 7:30 when Northwestern State pays a visit to the Montagne Center for a Southland Conference men's basketball contest.

The Demons (12-6 overall, 6-2 in the Southland), who knocked off Lamar 86-58 earlier this season in Natchitoches, La., are averaging 83.7 points per game. NSU is averaging 81.6 points per game through its first eight conference games.

The game can be heard live in Beaumont on KLVI 560 AM with Dave Hofferth providing the play-by-play.  Thursday is First Responders Night with all first responders receiving free admission with a valid ID.

This will be the 47th meeting between the two schools since 1951-52 when Lamar became a four-year institution. The Cardinals hold a 24-22 series advantage and have won 17 of the 21 games played in Beaumont.

Lamar (2-18 overall, 0-8 in the Southland) has dropped eight straight games following Saturday's 88-59 loss at Central Arkansas. The Cardinals will be playing at home for just the fifth time this season and for the first time since a 62-56 loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Jan. 12.

In the first meeting with NSU this season, Lamar trailed 46-27 at the half before pulling to within 10 points in the second half. NSU, which scored 27 points off 20 Lamar turnovers, would not allow the Cardinals to draw any closer in snapping a two-game losing streak to Lamar.

Senior Stan Brown recorded his third career double-double as he finished with 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Freshman D.J. Muepo added 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists in his first career start at Lamar.

Shamir Davis and DeQuan Hicks scored 15 points apiece to lead the Demons. Hicks and James Hulbin each pulled down eight rebounds, while Jalan West finished with five assists and seven steals off the bench.

Lamar comes into Thursday's action averaging 58.5 points per game. Both the Cardinals and Demons are giving up over 70 points per game defensively with Lamar allowing 77.0 and NSU allowing 72.2.

The Cardinals are shooting 41.0 percent from the floor and 30.8 percent from 3-point range on the year. However, the Cardinals are a strong 14-of-31 (45.2 percent) from 3-point range over the last four games. Lamar also ranks third in the Southland in free throw shooting (68.3 percent) and blocked shots (4.4 per game).

Brown is posting career-best averages of 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game to lead the Cardinals. One week ago at Oral Roberts, the 6-foot-8 forward matched a career-high with 18 points and added seven rebounds.

Redshirt freshman Rhon Mitchell, who came off the bench to post nine points and five rebounds at UCA on Saturday, is averaging 9.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Fellow freshman Keilan Blanks, who scored a career-best 25 points at ORU, is adding 7.2 points per game.

Senior Donley Minor leads Lamar with a 3.1 assists per game average to go along with nearly nine points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Minor has knocked down seven of his last 15 attempts from 3-point range and leads the Cardinals with 18 3-pointers on the year.

In addition to its scoring prowess, NSU leads the Southland in rebounding at 42.1 per game. The Demons are also picking up 9.5 steals and 5.5 blocked shots per contest to pace the league in both categories.

Hicks leads the Demons in scoring (14.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) despite not starting a game this season. Davis is scoring 13.2 points per game and Hulbin is adding 12.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. West is the final double-figure scorer on the team at 11.7 points per game. The redshirt freshman guard also leads the Southland in steals at 2.4 per game and is second in assists at 5.1.

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