February 13, 2009

ISLANDERS, SHSU TO BATTLE AT BANK CENTER ON SATURDAY

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team will host Sam Houston State in the clash of the top two teams in the Southland Conference West Division. The game is slated for a 1 p.m. tip on Saturday at the American Bank Center.

The Islanders (14-10) enter the contest having won three straight Southland Conference outings to move to 8-1 in the league matching the same start they had in 2006-07 when they went on to win the regular season and conference titles. The league leaders will be looking to avenge their only Southland loss of the season. The Bearkats (13-9), who fell to 7-2 in the league after a one-point loss to Nicholls on Wednesday, handed A&M-Corpus Christi a 72-51 loss two weeks ago in Huntsville.

In their first meeting, the Islanders struggled hitting just 38% of their shots, while Sam Houston hit over 47% of its shots including 12-of-26 from the three-point line. Kevin Palmer had 15 points for the Islanders, while Preston Brown had 21 points for the Bearkats.

A&M-Corpus Christi continues to be led in scoring by Palmer, who is averaging 16.7 points a game on the year and 17.3 a game in SLC play. He is also 14th in the nation in steals with 2.6 a game. Tim Green and Justin Reynolds are each at 8.8 points a game. Green's average has climbed to 11.4 in SLC play, and Shamar Coombs has raised his scoring mark to 9.6 in league play after netting a career-best 19 on Wednesday at Texas State.

Corey Allmond and Ashton Mitchell are the top scorers for the Bearkats. Allmond is averaging 14.5 points a game, while Mitchell is scoring 13.5. Three others are tallying nine or more a game. Mitchell is fifth in the country in assists with 6.7 assists, while Allmond is seventh in three-point field goal percentage at 45.5%.