The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team scored the first 10 points of the game and used a 16-3 run late in the opening half to cruise to the team's 100th home win in school history 77-55 over Texas-Pan American Thursday night at the American Bank Center.
With the victory, A&M-Corpus Christi evens its record at 2-2 on the season. UTPA moves to 0-3 on the season. Next up for the Islanders is St. Edward's at the Dugan Wellness Center at 7 p.m.
Kevin Palmer scored six of the game's first 10 points as the Islanders jumped out to a 10-0 lead at the 13:40 mark.
The Broncs battled back to within a bucket, 14-12, on a Luis Valera drive with 7:38 left in the first half.
"It seemed early on we working really hard but didn't have a lot to show for it," said Islander head coach Perry Clark. "We didn't get frustrated, but showed our maturity by keeping our composure. The guys didn't panic and played good defense.
"In the second half, Palmer was outstanding at the point. He really gave us a lot of energy."
A&M-Corpus Christi, which shot 60% in the opening half, seized control of the game with a 16-3 run to lead 30-15 and led by double digits the rest of the game. Horace Bond led the charge with seven of his career-high 15 points in the run. TAMUCC finished 52.5%, while holding the visitors to 35.6% from the floor.
Leading 36-23 at the intermission, the Islanders maintained their advantage in the second half as UTPA managed to get no closer than 11, 50-39, on a Ben Smith three-point basket. After committing 11 first half miscues, TAMUCC had two in the second half.
A 19-7 run capped by a thunderous dunk by Bond gave the Islanders a 23-point lead at 69-46 with 3:39 left. A&M-Corpus Christi extended its lead to 24 points on a lay-in by Jacob Warnell with 33 seconds left.
Palmer led the Islanders in scoring for the third time in four games with 17 points and swiped five of the team's eight steals. Bond added 15, while Justin Reynolds netted a season-high 12 as A&M-Corpus Christi outscored the Broncs 50-24 in the second half. Reynolds led the Islanders with nine rebounds as the won the war on the boards 40-32.
Valera led the visitors with 10 points.