October 31, 2009

ISLANDERS FAN TREATED TO 90-74 EXHIBITION WIN OVER INCARNATE WORD

Justin Reynolds and Kevin Palmer each recorded 20-plus points Saturday afternoon as the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team handed Incarnate Word a 90-74 win in an exhibition game at Dugan Wellness Center.

Reynolds led all players with 23 points, while Palmer finished with 21 points. Demond Watt and Shamar Coombs each had 10 points each for the Islanders, who hit 62.1 percent from the floor on 18-of-29 shooting. The team also hit 25-of-31 foul shots for 80.6%.

"Offensively, I thought we executed well, but we still have a lot of things to clean up and work on," said Islander head coach Perry Clark. "Kevin shot the ball really well and I thought J.R. stepped up. We did make some mistakes at the point but nothing that isn't correctable.

"Defensively, we have some work to do. Our rotations weren't good at times and we tried to play some matchup and struggled. But, the only way you are going to get better is to play against other people."

After an opening three by UIW's Pierce Caldwell, the Islanders took the lead 4-3 on a bucket by Reynolds who was 6-of-9 from the floor and 11-of-13 from the foul line. A&M-Corpus Christi scored 11 straight points capped by a Palmer layin to lead 11-3 and would lead by as many as 18 on two occasions in the opening half.

The Cardinals, who won the Heartland Conference title a season ago, charged back at the Islanders pulling to within nine points with less than 40 seconds remaining in the half on a free throw by Chris Johnson.

Deleon Hines twice pulled the Cardinals to within eight early in the second half -- the last time on a fast-break basket at the 18:14 mark. While the Islanders responded with a 7-0 spurt to make it a 15-point game, UIW again charged back as four straight points by Tracy Robinson made it a 5-point game, 66-61, with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Reynolds iced the game with five straight points with just over five minutes to go. He hit a pair of free throws with 5:29 left and then converted a three-point game to seal the win with 4:59 left for an 81-67 lead.

Pierce Caldwell, an NCAA Division II All-America candidate, led the visitors with 16 points. Robinson added 13 and Hines 10. The Cardinals hit 42.3 percent from the floor.

Marcus Hammonds and Reynolds led the Islanders in rebounding with seven as A&M-Corpus Christi held a 39-17 advantage on the boards. Hammonds added a team-high four assists.

The Islanders open the regular season in two weeks at the Duel in the Desert in Lubbock hosted by Texas Tech. A&M-Corpus Christi faces Oregon State in the opening game at 8 p.m.