December 14, 2008

ISLANDERS SUFFER FIRST HOME LOSS OF SEASON TO COWBOYS

For the first 30 minutes, Sunday afternoon's contest between the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders and the Oklahoma State Cowboys looked to be a game that would go down to the wire.

However, a late run by the Cowboys, who shot a blistering 76.9% in the second half, broke open a four-point game. Oklahoma State would go on to win 82-59. The loss evened TAMUCC's record at 5-5, while Oklahoma State moved to 6-3.

With 10:32 remaining in the game, Islander lone senior Tim Green converted a three-point play that pulled TAMUCC to within 54-50.

The Islanders would get no closer as Oklahoma State took control of the contest with a 28-9 run to close out the game.

Obi Muonelo, who had 32 points which is the most by an Islander opponent this season to go with 14 rebounds, hit two of his eight three-point baskets in the game to help spark the run. Terrel Harris added another trey as OSU, which is among the national leaders in threes, hit 11 in the game. Malcon Kirkland added eight of his 10 points in the run as well.

The Islanders played solid defense in the first half to take a 31-29 lead into the intermission as they limited OSU to 39.3% shooting.

A&M-Corpus Christi twice led in the first half by five points. Kevin Palmer opened the game with a three-point basket. Palmer, who had 14 points to lead TAMUCC, scored following a LaMarr Drake steal.

A&M-Corpus Christi would not trail in the first half until a three-point bucket by Harris broke an 8-8 deadlock with 14 minutes remaining.

Trailing 18-15 after a Keiton Page bucket, TAMUCC went on an 8-0 spurt to lead 23-18. Horace Bond scored on a layin to start the followed by a pair of three-point baskets by Jawan Nelson that helped the Islanders regain the lead. The threes were the first of the freshman's career.

Three long-range buckets by Muonelo allowed OSU to surge back in front 27-23 with 4:21 to go.

Filip Toncinic and the Islanders closed the half with an 8-2 run. The Islander reserve hit a pair of baseline jumpers to start the run. Drake and Palmer each scored two to finish the half.

For the game, both teams finished with 12 turnovers and five steals. Led by Muonelo, the Cowboys enjoyed a 36-28 advantage on the boards.

Palmer led the Islanders with 14 points, while Drake added 12. Justin Reynolds and Bonds each had six rebounds. Three Cowboys joined Muonelo in double-digits. James Anderson finished with 16, while Harris and Kirkland had 11 and 10, respectively.

The Islanders hit the road for their next five games beginning with two games in Georgia next week. They play Savannah State on Thursday at 6 p.m. and Georgia on Monday, Dec. 22. The Islanders are not at home again until opening Southland Conference play against Central Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.