BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) Mike James scored 23 points and Lamar claimed the Southland Conference's East Division title Saturday with a 78-68 victory over McNeese State.
Devon Lamb added 19 points and Anthony Miles, who was 10 for 10 at the free-throw line, scored 17 for Lamar. The Cardinals (20-11, 11-5) have won three in a row since coach Pat Knight criticized his team following a home loss to Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 22.
Dontae Cannon had 18 points, Patrick Richard scored 17 and Rudy Turner had 13 points and 10 rebounds for McNeese State (15-14, 10-6). The Cowboys have lost four straight following an eight-game winning streak.
Lamar, with its first 20-win season since 1987-88, will be the third seed in the conference tournament and face No. 6 seed Northwestern State on Wednesday. McNeese State will play UTSA, also in Wednesday's quarterfinals.