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Lamar’s Owens looking to continue hot streak

February 4, 2017 GMT

Marcus Owens’ nickname is “Cheese” because of his infectious smile.

Lamar men’s basketball coach Tic Price can’t help but grin himself when talking about the senior guard’s good nature.

Over his Lamar career, though, Owens’ temperament has been tested on the court.

He is the Cardinals’ streakiest player, unable at times to shake off a poor spell of play or ride a hot streak for an extended period.

Recently, though, Owens has been hot, making 7-of-12 3-pointers over the past two games.

With just nine guaranteed games left in his college career, Owens is hoping his run of good play won’t die out as it has before.

“I get down on myself too much when I don’t play well and it messes with me mentally,” Owens said. “I don’t have time for that anymore.

“I’ve got to seize the moment.”

The Ft. Lauderdale, Florida native, is known as a sharpshooter. Lamar associate coach Bobby Kummer describes Owens as “a guy who needs to see the ball go through the hoop” to gain confidence.

“Some guys are just geared that way,” Kummer said.

Owens is very honest about his streaky tendencies and admits one made shot is all is takes for him to get going.

One missed shot can stunt his confidence and get him pulled from the team’s rotation, which happened earlier this season.

Owens started the team’s first 10 games but quickly saw his minutes fade because he wasn’t shooting the ball well.

By the start of conference play, Owens was one of Price’s last choices off the bench.

He totaled 32 minutes in Lamar’s first seven conference games and scored seven points on 30-percent shooting.

Owens had similar stretches his first three seasons and lost his starting spot last season at the beginning of conference play.

“Marcus is a sensitive person, but we don’t put pressure on him,” Price said. “We know he’ll eventually snap out of it because he’s a mature player.”

Owens has made qualifying for the Southland Conference tournament, which Lamar hasn’t done since 2011, a priority for the rest of the season.

He’s hoping having a tangible goal will keep him in a positive frame of mind, even if his shot disappears.

“I can’t get too high or too low,” Owens said. “There are things I still want to accomplish at Lamar and I won’t be able to do that if I let my emotions get in the way.”

Price says that’s the best way for Owens to stay on the floor and contribute.

“Marcus is doing all the little things correct right now,” Price said. “Playing well on both sides of the ball is what I expect out of all of my players, but especially Marcus since he’s a senior.”