HUNTSVILLE The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team headed into Saturday's game at Sam Houston State shooting 50.2 percent from the floor in Southland Conference play and 54.7 % in its past three games to jump out to a 5-0 mark The tables turned on Saturday.
The Islanders (11-10), however, fell victim to a hot-shooting Bearkat team which picked up their fifth-straight league win 72-51 at Johnson Coliseum. Sam Houston (11-8 overall, 5-1 SLC) hit 12-of-26 three-point baskets and was 47.3% from the floor in the game. Meanwhile, A&M-Corpus Christi was 4-of-19 from behind the arc hit 38% of its shots.
The two sides are now tied atop the standings in the West Division. An Islander win would have given TAMUCC a two-game lead in the division
Sam Houston State jumped out to an early 14-8 lead hitting four, three-point baskets in the first six minutes of the game. Corey Allmond hit a pair of treys early with Preston Brown and Barkley Faulkner each adding one.
Trailing 16-10, A&M-Corpus Christi charged back with an 11-3 run to take its second lead of the game at 21-19. Marcus Hammonds began the spurt with four straight points before a Kevin Palmer jumper tied the game at 16.
Following a Lance Pevehouse three-point bucket, Filip Toncinic drained his own trey again knotting the game. Hammonds' third basket of the run pushed the Islanders back in front, 21-19 with 8:34 remaining in the half.
Brown, who lead all players with 21 points, broke the tie and gave the hosts the lead for good. SHSU out-scored the Islanders 12-5 the final seven minutes of the half. The visitors trailed 33-26 at the half.
The teams opened the second trading three-point baskets. Ashton Mitchell opened the scoring with a three-point basket with Palmer matching him to keep the margin seven points. SHSU's Brown followed with his third trey to make it a 10-point game.
Palmer's bucket made it an 8-point game, 41-33 with 14:35 remaining, but Brown's third three made it an 11-point game and TAMUCC would get no closer than nine the rest of the game.
Aside from Palmer's team-high 15 points no other Islander had double digits. Justin Reynolds led all players with 12 rebounds and missed a double-double with nine points. Hammonds also had nine. Palmer finished with two steals on the day and is now tied with Michael Hicks and Bryan Hamilton for the season-high in steals with 56. Tim Green swiped a career-high five steals.
Brown was joined in double digits by three other Bearkats. Allmond netted 13, with Mitchell and Pevehouse each scoring 11. Falkner led SHSU with 10 rebounds as SHSU won the battle of the board 35-32.
The Islanders return home Wednesday to host UT Arlington at 7 p.m. as part of Homecoming ceremonies. They head to Nicholls State for a 3 p.m. Saturday contest.