HAMMOND, La.The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team was edged 70-68 on the road Wednesday night as Southeastern Louisiana's Damon Forest broke a 68-68 tie with a jumper with less than a second remaining at the University Center.
With the loss the Islanders move to 9-4 in the Southland Conference and are 15-13 overall. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Lions who are now 10-16 overall and 4-9 in the Southland.
With A&M-Corpus Christi trailing 68-65 with 20 seconds left Chris Cyprian fouled Kevin Palmer on a three-point shot. Palmer hit all three foul shots to knot the game at 68 and finished with a game-high 19 points. It was the fifth tie of the contest.
After falling behind 2-0 to start the game, the Islanders tied the game at two on a Justin Reynolds basket and claimed the lead with a three-point basket by Shamar Coombs.
The Islanders seemingly took control of the game breaking open an 11-8 game with a 9-0 run. Following a pair of free throws, Coombs hit his second three-point shot of the half to make it a 16-8 contest at the 10:50 mark. A steal and layin by Marcus Hammonds made it a 10-point game before Filip Toncinic gave the Islanders a 20-8 lead with 9:27 remaining before intermission.
Cyprian pulled the Lions back to with single digits with a three-point basket to make it a 23-15 game, but Palmer pushed the lead back to 11.
The Islanders, who hit 5-of-11 threes in the first 20 minutes, would get a three with just under four minutes to go by Jawan Nelson and Palmer hit his second of the half with 1:35 remaining. Palmer's made it a 17 point lead.
Warrell Span's jumper cut the Lion deficit to 15 at the break, 40-25.
After hitting 48.3% of their shots in the first half, the Islanders cooled in the second hitting just 33.3%. Meanwhile, Southeastern warmed up hitting 53.3% of their shots in the second half. The Lions were 10-of-26 in the first half for 38.5%.
In the second half, Reynolds opened the half with a jumper for the Islanders to make it a 42-25 game.
The Lions responded with a 10-0 run to pull within seven, 42-35. Patrick Sullivan followed a Cyprian three to start the run. Sullivan then swiped a steal from Toncinic and fed Cyprian for a jumper on the break. Span capped the run with his only three of the game.
The Islanders responded with four straight points on jumpers by Palmer and Coombs to again make it an 11-point game.
A&M-Corpus Christi remained up by 11 after Demond Watt hit 1-of-2 free throws with 13:54 to go. However, Southeastern used an 8-0 run to make it a three-point game in less than two minutes.
David Ndoumba converted a three-point play to start the run. After a turnover by Shamar Coombs, Brandon Fortenberry connected from behind the arc to make it 50-45. Ndoumba scored his fifth point of the run on a putback with 12:15 to go.
With their lead down to 50-47, Tim Green hit a pair of free throws for his only points of the night. Horace Bond extended the lead to seven with a tip-in for a 54-47 advantage.
After a pair of free throws by Watt, who finished 5-of-6 from the line, allowed the Islanders to maintain a 60-54 margin, Southeastern completed the comeback with six straight points. Following a Span jumper, Sullivan scored four straight points, tying the contest at 60 with 5:12 left.
Kevin Palmer gave the Islanders their final lead of the game, 62-60, with a jumper with 4:55 remaining.
Forest's jumper with 4:41 left knotted the game at 62. After Fortenberry blocked a Toncinic shot, Robert Tibbs converted a dunk off the ensuing fastbreak.
Hammonds, who had three steals to lead all players, pulled TAMUCC back even at 64 with 3:46 left before the Lions built their largest lead of the game at 68-65 with 31 seconds left on a pair of foul shots by Sullivan.
Aside from Palmer's game high 19 points, Coombs was the only other Islander in double digits with 11. Sullivan led four Lions in double figures with 17. Span added 16 while Cyprian and Forest each had 10.
The teams were nearly even on the boards and in turnovers. Southeastern out-rebounded the Islanders 32-31 and had nine turnovers to the Islanders 10.
A&M-Corpus Christi had the advantage at the foul line going 23-of-29, while the Lions were 14-of-22.