December 19, 2008

ISLANDERS SUCCUMB TO RALLY IN DEFENSIVE BATTLE

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Texas A&M-Corpus Christi led the majority of Thursday night's game versus Savannah State, but was unable to overcome a season-high 28 turnovers falling 47-42 to the Tigers at Tiger Arena.

A&M-Corpus Christi falls to 5-6, while Savannah State picked up its seventh home win of the year to move to 7-4. The 89 combined points between the two sides is the fewest in Islander history. The previous low was 50-47 last season at Nicholls State.

The Islanders remain on the road to face Georgia on Monday at 6 p.m. CST before breaking for the holidays.

After Savannah State scored first, the Islanders jumped out to an 11-2 lead less than five minutes into the game. Five A&M-Corpus Christi players scored in the run. Justin Reynolds scored three points, while Kevin Palmer, Demond Watt and Horace Bond all scored.

The Islanders would lead the rest of half by at least five points until the final minute of the half. A layup by Arnold Louis with less than 30 seconds remaining in the half made it a 23-20 game in favor of A&M-Corpus and was the score at the break.

Following a steal by Chris Linton, Rashad Hassan converted the fast-break bucket to make it a 23-22 game to start the second half.

The Islanders responded to the charge with Reynolds converting a three-point play. After a Raye Bailey turnover for the Tigers, Palmer hit a jumper to make it a six-point game.

Leading 30-24 three minutes in the final period, the Islanders would go scoreless over the next four minutes. Savannah State used the cold spell to knot the game at 30 on a three-point basket by Bailey. The trey was the first of the game by either team, and one of two for the Tigers. The Islanders were held without a three-point basket for the second time this season going 0-for-9.

Tim Green hit a pair of foul shots for A&M-Corpus Christi to break the tie and begin a 10-2 run. The Islanders, who were solid from the charity stripe hitting their first seven of the second half en route to making 14-of-19 in the game, two sets of free throws by Palmer around a Rod Mitchell dunk for the Tigers to lead 38-32. Bond capped the run after a Reynolds steal to make it 40-32 with 6:26 left.

Hassan would bring SSU back scoring five of the points during a 10-0 run that allowed them to take a 42-40 lead with 3:30 remaining. Bailey hit his second three of the game to give the hosts the advantage for the first time since leading 2-0. Bailey led the Tigers with 10 points, while Hassan added nine.

Reynolds, who had a game-high 13 points, tied the game with a layin for the Islanders with two minutes to go, but they would not score again. Green added 10. Watt led all players with eight rebounds, while Palmer had three assists and three steals to lead all players.

The Islanders finished the game shooting 35.9% from the floor, while limiting the hosts to 14-of-50 shooting for 28%. The Tigers outscored TAMUCC 20-12 off turnovers and 8-2 off second chance points as they 15 offensive boards to the Islanders eight. SSU was also 17-of-27 from the foul line.