August 19, 2009

ISLANDERS TO USE TOUGH NON-LEAGUE SLATE TO PREPARE FOR SOUTHLAND

In head coach Perry Clark's third season, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi men's basketball team will challenge itself against a strong nonconference slate as the 2009-2010 schedule was released on Wednesday.

Prior to Southland Conference play, the Islanders will face a schedule with teams from the PAC 10, Big 12, SEC, Conference USA, and ACC, as well as perennial mid-major power Kent State. Including reigning SLC Champion Stephen F. Austin, Clark's squad will tackle five teams that reached the postseason a year ago.

"I think the schedule we have put together is challenging," said Clark, whose team doubled its win total in his second season finishing 18-15 and returns all but one player led SLC Newcomer of the Year Kevin Palmer. "We are moving towards where we want to go (with the schedule) by playing great in-state rivals like Texas, Texas Tech and Houston.

"We have a challenging preseason to get us ready for what we think will be a very competitive conference race."

The Islanders open the 2009-2010 with a trip to West Texas to participate in the Duel in the Desert on Nov. 13-15 hosted by Texas Tech in Lubbock. A&M-Corpus Christi opens the season against Oregon State of the Pac 10. The Beavers claimed the second College Basketball Invitational title this past spring over UTEP. The Islanders face the host Red Raiders in the second game before closing out the event against South Dakota.

A&M-Corpus Christi returns home for three games in seven days beginning Nov. 19. The Islanders open the 12-game home portion of their schedule against former independent rival Texas-Pan American at the American Bank Center. Two days later, St. Edwards comes to town for a Nov. 21 contest. It is the lone men's game scheduled to be on campus. On Nov. 25, Texas A&M International visits Stripes Court.

The Islanders return to the road for eight of their next nine games after hosting the Dustdevils. They first close out November by challenging Mississippi looking to knock off an SEC team for the second year in a row and visit CBI-participant Houston on Dec. 6 before breaking for exams. After two weeks off for exams, the Islanders head to the Northeast to visit Kent State on Dec. 20 and Monmouth on Dec. 23.

After facing Oklahoma Panhandle State in the first game of a men's and women's doubleheader at the American Bank Center on Dec. 28, the Islanders open 2010 with a trip to Austin on Jan. 2 to face the Longhorns who reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last spring. On Jan 5th, A&M-Corpus Christi travels to Florida State for the second year in a row before opening Southland Conference play.

Southland Conference play begins with the Islanders on the road at Central Arkansas on Jan. 9 and Texas State on Jan. 13. TAMUCC returns to Stripes Court for its first of two league games when Northwestern State and Lamar visit on Jan. 16 and Jan. 20, respectively.

A&M-Corpus Christi heads up I-37 on Jan. 23 to face rival UTSA before heading south for a return game with UTPA in its last non-conference game of the regular season on Jan. 25. The Islanders close out January with Sam Houston State coming to town on the 30th.

February starts with the Islanders heading to UT Arlington on the third before returning to the American Bank Center for three of its next four games. The stretch begins with Nicholls visiting for Homecoming on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. Texas State comes to the American Bank Center on Feb. 10. After visiting Sam Houston State on Feb. 13, UTSA comes to town for the second meeting of the year between the sides on Feb.17.

The team makes its lone trip to Louisiana on Feb. 20 for a game with McNeese State prior to hosting Southeastern Louisiana at the ABC on Feb. 24. The Islanders head back on the road for their final two road games of the regular season with a game at defending SLC champion SFA on Feb. 27 and the final road game at Lamar on March 3.

The Islanders close out the season at home with Senior Night on March 6 as the Mavericks come to town.

For the third straight season, the Southland Conference Tournament will be held at the Merrell Center in Katy. The men's event begins March11.

For information or to purchase season tickets contact the Islander ticket office at (361) 825-2255 (BALL).