January 9, 2009

ISLANDERS RETURN TO BANK CENTER TO OPEN CONFERENCE PLAY

After playing its last five games on the road, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team returns to the American Bank Center on Saturday night to take on Central Arkansas at 7 p.m. in the Southland Conference opener for both sides.

The Islanders will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak and improve on their 6-9 mark. Central Arkansas won its final non-conference game on Tuesday night when it by be Haskell Indian Nations 110-51 to move over .500 at 7-6.

The meeting is the third ever between the two sides who entered the league together for the 2006-07 season. A&M-Corpus Christi has won both meetings winning 89-63 in the first meeting and 76-69 a year ago.

Four Islanders scored in double figures a season ago to lead the Islanders to the win. Will Bullard led the way 18 points, while Kevin Perkins, who is out with an injury, finished with 15. Justin Reynolds was the highest scoring active player with 13, while Chris Daniels added 12. Demond Watt led the Islanders with five rebounds. Nate Bowie and York Sims had 23 and 15 points, respectively for the visitors. Marucs Pillow is the highest returning scorer for the Bears with nine in the loss.

Kevin Palmer leads the Islanders in scoring at 16.3 points a game and is second in the conference with 2.7 steals. His per game average is the highest in school history by a player not named Michael Hicks. Palmer had his streak of 20-point games snapped at three when he finished with 17 at Houston. Demond Watt, who just missed a double-double for the second-straight game, is averaging 9.1 points along with Reynolds. Watt also leads the team with 6.4 rebounds.

UCA has a trio of players averaging double figures. Marcus Pillow is averaging a team-best 12.5 a game, while Mitch Rueter is scoring 11.2. Mike Pouncy is netting 10.1 a game. Brian Marks leads the team with 9.3 rebounds which is second in the conference.

The Islanders remain at home to host Texas State on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.