ISLANDERS REMAIN UNBEATEN IN SLC, END CARDINAL HOME STREAK
BEAUMONT The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team hit a season-high 55% from the floor and had a season-low eight turnovers Wednesday night as they snapped a Lamar's 20-game home winning streak with an 89-71 win at the Montagne Center.
"We ran our flex offense and were able to get basket after basket," said Islander head coach Perry Clark. "With flex the flex the guys were able to use their own abilities to score. We also were able to get some stops to hold them at bay.
"One of the things I did before the shootaround was read off our shooting stats. There is nothing more humbling than hearing your shooting numbers when your stats aren't very good."
With the win, the Islanders move to 10-9 on the year and are the last remaining team unbeaten in Southland Conference play at 4-0. With the win, TAMUCC surpassed its win total of nine a season ago and have recorded its ninth 10-win season in 10 years since the program restarted.
The Cardinals fall to 10-7 on the year and 1-3 in the league. Their home winning streak was the fifth longest in the country. It was the first time TAMUCC has beaten Lamar in school history and the Islanders are now 1-4 since the program was restarted. Lamar was 13-0 against when the school was known as the University of Corpus Christi.
Down 19-11 when Charlie Harper hit a jumper for Lamar, the Islander offense heated up in a hurry. Tim Green began a 26-11 run over the next six minutes with a three-point baskets and had 10 of his 17 points in the spurt.
Filip Toncinic, Shamar Coombs, Jawan Nelson, Marcus Hammonds and Green again each hit three-point baskets in the run as A&M-Corpus Christi drained six straight. Horace Bond added a three late in the half that gave the visitors a 47-33 lead with under a minute in the half and TAMUCC led 47-35 at the break. The Islanders finished the half 7-of-12 from behind the arc and was 8-of-15 for a season-best 53.3%.
In the second half, the Islanders went inside with six of their first eight points of the half in the paint. Bond's layin at the 17:23 mark made it a 55-37 contest. Even with their prowess outside early, A&M-Corpus Christi out-scored Lamar 37-20 in the paint.
Lamar would chip away pulling to within seven, 62-55, with 12:41 to go on a three-point basket by Kenny Dawkins and a pair of Ashton Hall free throws. Dawkins, who did not start, came off the bench to score 17 points despite being hampered by an injury.
Bond ignited an 9-0 Islander run when he scored on a lob on an inbound pass that pushed the lead back to 16 with 9:40 left.
A basket by Lamar's Jay Brown pulled the hosts to within 12 with 9:22 left but they would get no closer. Brown had a game-high 12 rebounds and blocked nine shots.
Kevin Palmer, who led all players with 23 points, scored five points in a 7-0 run that iced the game. The Islanders would extend their lead to as many as 20 in the final seven minutes.
Palmer led four players in double digits for TAMUCC. Green followed his career performance of 21 at Northwestern State with 17 points, while Coombs netted 11 and Reynolds 10. Palmer led the Islanders in rebounding with seven and added four assists with two steals. A&M-Corpus Christi was out-rebounded for the first time in league play losing the battle 38-36.
Dawkins was joined in double-digit points by Hall with 13 and Tristan Worrell with 11
The Islanders return home to host UTSA on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Dugan Wellness Center. There will be a dedication ceremony at 10:30 a.m. for the new student recreation facility