Lamar rides a big rebounding effort to surprise UTSA, 90-82

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

After a couple of dismal seasons, the Lamar Cardinals of the Southland Conference took a large step toward respectability Tuesday night in Beaumont, winning the rebounding battle decisively and hitting 10 of 11 free throws down the stretch to stun the UTSA Roadrunners, 90-82.

Two years ago, in Alvin Brooks’ first season as coach at Lamar, the Cardinals finished 2-27. Last year, they made some improvements but still closed with a 9-22 record. Now, they’re 2-1 after beating the Roadrunners of the American Athletic Conference, who fell to 1-2 on the season and to 0-2 on the road.

The game was won — and lost — on the glass. The Cardinals held the edge on the boards overall, 57-45, but most noticeably on the offensive end, where they dominated, 25-12. “Their offensive rebounding was just, ridiculous,” UTSA coach Steve Henson told broadcaster Andy Everett on KTKR radio.

“They got ’em in the paint. They got the long rebounds. That was the ballgame right there,” the coach said.

Lamar forward Terry Anderson and center Adam Hamilton did the most damage. As the clock ticked down below 2:30 in the second half, Anderson made a couple of big plays and scored six quick points during a decisive 12-5 run to the final buzzer.

He finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end. Hamilton had 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. His offensive rebounding hurt the Roadrunners, as well, as he crashed for six of them. Time and again, it seemed the two of them would beat UTSA players to caroms to extend possessions.

“We defended them well enough,” Henson said. “Their shooting percentage wasn’t good. They just got so many extra shots. We took care of the ball. We were very concerned with their pressure. They (played) pretty frantic. We handled that, for the most part … but the rebounding, that was the ball game.”

Adante’ Holiman, who came out of the game briefly at the end after he was shaken up, re-entered and finished the night as UTSA’s leading scorer with 22 points. He hit seven of 16 shots from the field, including four of 11 from three-point range. Trey Edmonds had 12 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while seven foot Carlton Linguard Jr. contributed 10 points and seven boards.

Off the bench, PJ Carter energized the team with 12 points and Isaiah Wyatt had 11. Combined, they hit seven of 14 from the field. But in the end, the Roadrunners allowed the Cardinals to have too many possessions, and as for their own offense, they just seemed to have too many hiccups at inopportune times.


Lamar 2-1
UTSA 1-2

Coming up

UTSA at Texas State, Friday, 7 p.m.


UTSA opened the season at home, winning 78-68 in overtime against Western Illinois. In their second game, the Roadrunners journeyed into the Big Ten neighborhood of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and lost 102-76. After losing at Lamar, UTSA is averaging 78.7 per game on offense but is giving up 86.7. Opponents are outrebounding them, 156-124. It’s a small sample size of games, but as it stands, points allowed and rebounding numbers are alarming.

Adante’ Holiman has played well offensively in the past two, scoring 36 points and knocking down eight of 17 from three-point territory. Dre Fuller Jr. scored a career-high 16 at Minnesota but suffered a tough night against Lamar — held scoreless, on zero-for-seven shooting from the floor.

For Lamar, a former San Antonio-area standout enjoyed a solid game as junior transfer Ja’Sean Jackson had 12 points and five assists. Jackson, a transfer from Abilene Christian who played in high school at Wagner, hit a buzzer-beating shot off the glass from halfcourt at halftime.

Looking for road victory No. 1, UTSA plays at Lamar tonight

Carlton Linguard Jr. at UTSA men's basketball practice on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Seven-foot Carlton Linguard Jr. (middle) will lead the UTSA Roadrunners into Beaumont tonight to play the Lamar Cardinals. – Photo by Joe Alexander

After a humbling experience in Big Ten country, the UTSA Roadrunners return to the state of Texas for a road game tonight against the Lamar Cardinals of the Southland Conference. Here’s a breakdown:

UTSA at Lamar

At a glance: The Roadrunners (1-1) and the Cardinals (1-1) will play Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Beaumont at Neches Arena.

UTSA — Last Monday night, UTSA opened at home and won 78-68 in overtime against the Western Illinois Leathernecks. On Friday, the Roadrunners arrived at Williams Arena in Minneapolis with high hopes and were beaten 102-76 by the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Clearly, a UTSA team entering its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference isn’t ready to win in the Big Ten just yet even with a roster almost totally revamped from last year, so eighth-year coach Steve Henson and Co. are faced with a critical week in playing road tests closer to home at Lamar and at Texas State of the Sun Belt Conference on Friday. UTSA was 2-11 on the road last year in a 10-22 season. Leaders for UTSA include power forward Trey Edmonds (13.5 ppg, 47.6 percent shooting), forward Dre Fuller Jr. (13 ppg, eight rpg) and guard Adante’ Holiman (11 ppg, 50 percent three-point shooting).

Lamar — Alvin Brooks is back in Beaumont where he played point guard for two legendary Lamar teams. With Brooks handling the ball, the Cardinals reached the NCAA tournament in both 1980 (Sweet 16) and 1981. More than 40 years later, Brooks is the third-year head coach of the Cardinals, trying to kick start a program that has been through some hard times recently. In the coach’s first two years, the Cardinals have been 11-49. Based on early returns, Lamar might have a chance to turn the corner this season. The Cards blew out NAIA Jarvis Christian 114-66 at home last Monday. In Game 2 last Friday, the Cardinals fared well but fell 78-67 on the road at SMU. Guard B.B. Knight (13.5 ppg) leads the Cardinals in scoring. Abilene Christian University transfer Ja’Sean Jackson, a guard from San Antonio’s Wagner High School, scored nine points at SMU and is averaging 11.5. Another San Antonio connection is assistant coach Charles Harral, a 1999 Churchill graduate.