TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Kevin Palmer recorded his third straight 20-point game and swiped four steals, but Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was unable to overcome 21 turnovers 34.5% shooting in a 69-48 loss to Florida State on Saturday afternoon at Tucker Center.
The loss was the second straight for the Islanders who fall to 6-8, while Florida State improved to 13-2.
"I was much more proud of the effort we played with today," Islander head coach Perry Clark, whose team lost 92-62. "We played a lot harder than we did at SMU, but we need to do a better job of execution."
The Islanders fell behind early as they struggled with their shooting. A&M-Corpus Christi would hit just two its first 11 attempts of the game as Florida State jumped out to a 16-4 lead seven minutes into the game after four straight points by Derwin Kitchen and free throw by Ryan Reid.
Trailing 26-14, A&M-Corpus Christi would battle back as they began to warm up from the field hitting their final 9-of-17 shots from the field.
Down 26-14 with 5:44 remaining in the half, Kevin Palmer keyed an 8-2 run for the Islanders to cut their deficit in half. Palmer had half six of his 12 first half points.
After a basket by Kitchen, Palmer was fouled as hit a two-point bucket from just inside the three-point line to start the run. He scored moments later on drive to the basket. Following a fade away by Solomon Alabi, Demond Watt put down a dunk to make it 28-20 with four minutes to go. A layin basket by, Palmer capped the run.
The Seminoles responded with a three-point basket by Luke Loucks that started a 7-1 run to end the half. The Islanders trailed 35-23 at the intermission.
In the second half, both teams exited the locker room cold with neither team scoring until Kevin Palmer converted a three-point play with at the 16:43 mark to make it a nine-point game, 35-26.
TAMUCC cut its deficit to six, 40-34, with 11:09 remaining on a 15-foot jumper by Palmer.
"I thought we were exactly where we wanted to be when we got to within six points," said Clark. "We self destructed. We had some turnovers and missed some shots, but the turnovers were critical. I thought we did a good of stopping them in their half-court offense but our turnovers allowed them to speed the pace of the game up."
Dunks by Xavier Gibson and Chris Singleton started a 7-0 run that gave the hosts a 13-point lead, 47-34, with 9:13 remaining.
A&M-Corpus Christi pulled to within 10 after a free throw by Demond Watt and bucket by Palmer. The Islanders were unable to get closer the rest of the contest as they hit just 30% of their second half shots and 34.5% in the game
Palmer led all players with 21 points and added four steals. Watt was the only other Islander in double digits scoring 10 points. He missed his first double-double of the season and the second of his career with a game-high nine rebounds.
Douglas and Kitchen led FSU with 17 and 13 points respectively. Singleton led the hosts with eight boards and five steals, while Alabi had five blocks.
Neither team shot free throws or three-point baskets well. TAMUCC was 7-of-16 from behind the arc and the Seminoles were 4-of-14. Filip Toncinic hit a three-point basket late as the Islanders finished 1-of-12 and Florida State was 5-of-18.
A&M-Corpus Christi returns to Texas for it next game when it concludes non-conference play at Hofheinz Pavilion versus in-state rival Houston at 7 p.m.