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Lamar downs McNeese State in Southland final

Katy, TX (Sports Network) - Mike James posted a game-high 26 points to go with nine rebounds as Lamar booked its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2000 with a 70-49 decision over McNeese State in the Southland final.

Devon Lamb added 12 points and Osas Ebomwonyi totaled nine points and nine boards for the Cardinals (23-11),

"I told these guys right at my press conference that the reason I took (the job) was because of them," said Lamar head coach Pat Knight, who turned around a program that had gone 11-30 in conference play the previous three seasons. "I thought we could win right away."

Patrick Richard scored 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds for the Cowboys (17-15), who gained the final by knocking off top seed Texas- Arlington on Friday.

Dontae Cannon had 13 points in a losing cause.

A 19-2 run spread out over eight minutes later in the first half gave Lamar control of the contest for good.

Down 13-10, Anthony Miles started the run with a deuce, Lamb hit two from the line, and after an Adrian Fields layup accounted for McNeese's lone answer, the Cardinals ripped off 15 in a row -- six alone by James -- then Stan Brown capped the burst on his layup with 3:32 left for a 29-15 game.

Lamar led 33-21 at the break.

"It changed the complexity," said McNeese head coach Dave Simmons. "To win a game like this, you have to get an inside presence, and we couldn't get to the foul line."

Richard's free throw got the Cowboys within 35-33 early in the second half, but James scored four in a row and Lamar righted itself on a 17-6 run which left it ahead 52-39 with 7 1/2 minutes left on a James lay-in.

The Cardinals kept their foot on the gas for the remainder of the game.

Cannon totaled five points and Richard four as McNeese State led 13-8 in the early stages.

Game Notes

Lamar has taken a 50-42 edge in the all-time series and won two of three this season from McNeese State...McNeese hasn't won the league playoff title since 2002 but lost to UTA in last year's championship...Saturday's game marked the first time both schools have met in the Southland tourney final.

03/11 01:24:37 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI