The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team will make its 2009-10 Stripes Court debut this Thursday night when they host Texas-Pan American at 7 p.m. at the American Bank Center.
The Islanders enter the home opener with a 1-2 mark with lone win a 24-point victory over Oregon State of the Pac 10 at the Duel in the Desert in Lubbock. They will be facing the Broncs, who enter 0-2 after dropping a 77-72 contest to Lamar in Edinburg on Monday. A win by the Islanders would be the 100th home win in the program's history between Memorial Coliseum, the American Bank Center and one game at the Dugan Wellness Center.
"After being on the road for the first three games it is nice to be home," said A&M-Corpus Christi head coach Perry Clark. "The team is really looking forward to playing in the friendly confines of the American Bank Center."
The meeting will be the 15th all-time between the Islanders and the Broncs. The Islanders, who lead the series 9-5, have played UTPA more than any other opponent in school history. The teams last met on Feb. 27, 2006 with A&M-Corpus Christi winning 93-69. The teams will meet a second time this season on Jan. 25 in Edinburg.
Kevin Palmer led the Islanders opening weekend earning Southland Conference Player of the Week honors. The senior, who also earned all-tournament honors, average 22 points, 6.3 rebounds, four steals and three assists over the weekend. He was joined on the all-tournament team by Demond Watt. Watt led the Islanders with 19 points against Texas Tech and finished the weekend with 12.7 points a game and 7.0 rebounds.
"We have to find our identity," said Clark. "We need to be more consistent no matter who we are playing. I think the guys are in a good frame of mind in regards of what we have to do."
For UTPA, Jared Maree has led the team in scoring and rebounding in their first two games under new coach Ryan Marks. Maree is scoring 14.5 points and grabbing 6.0 rebounds a contest.