With tournament berths in hand, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team and the Stephen F. Austin will square off in a battle of teams battling for the Southland Conference on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the American Bank Center.
The Islanders (15-13) enter the contest at 9-4 in the Southland Conference a game behind SFA and Sam Houston State for the top seed in the conference tournament as the regular season championship. Nicholls is also 9-4 in the SLC. The regular season champion in the Southland Conference is guaranteed a spot in the postseason as it receives a spot in NIT if were to not advance to the NCAA Tournament.
A&M-Corpus Christi will be looking to get back on track after a tough 70-68 loss on Wednesday at Southeastern Louisiana. Damon Forest won the game for the Lions with a bucket with a second remaining.
Kevin Palmer continues to shine for the Islanders. The junior guard leads the team and the Southland Conference in scoring. He is averaging 18.6 points a game in Southland Conference play and 17.4 overall. Palmer remains among the national leader in steals with 2.7. He is 14 points shy of 500 points in his career and would be the second player in school history to score 500 in a single season join Michael Hicks who has done it twice.
Demond Watt leads the Islanders in rebounds in all games with 5.8 a game. Palmer leads the team in rebounding in SLC action with six a game and is tops with 77 assists for 2.8 a game.
Matt Kingsley leads the Lumberjacks in both scoring and rebound with 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. Josh Alexander is second in scoring with 13.6 points. The 'Jacks allow just 55.8 points a game which is third in the country and they are fourth in field goal percentage defense at 37.6%.
The series between the teams is tied at 2-2 with the Islanders winning both meetings in 2006-07. Stephen F. Austin swept the season series a year ago. This is the first year that SFA has been in the East Division since the Islanders joined the league.
The Islanders close out their home slate with a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday.