Three Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders scored 20-or-more points in the game for the first time in head coach Perry Clark's tenure as the Islanders moved to 3-0 with a 98-83 win over Northwestern State on Stripes Court. The 98 points are tied for the most by the Islanders in Clark's three-plus seasons.
Kevin Palmer led the way for the Islanders with 25 points, while Justin Reynolds and Shamar Coombs posted career highs with 23 and 20 points, respectively. With the win, the Islanders even their record at 8-8 on the season and are the only 3-0 team in the Southland Conference.
Northwestern State drops to 0-3 in the league and are 5-11 overall.
A&M-Corpus Christi led by as many 13 on two occasions early in the second half - the second on a Reynolds fast-break bucket at 56-43 - and appeared to be in control.
The Demons, however, followed the Reynolds' hoop with a 20-9 run to make it a two-point contest at 65-63 on a three by Devon Baker with 8:54 remaining.
A&M-Corpus Christi, which had used a 19-4 run in the first half to build its original lead, went on a 14-2 run to push its lead back to 14 points with 6:22 left. After 1-of-2 foul shots by Reynolds, Terence Jones converted a three-point play with 8:04 remaining.
Palmer followed with one of his game-high four steals and was fouled breaking for the basket. He hit a pair of free throws for a 71-63 lead. Palmer was fouled again after a defensive rebound and made it a 10-point lead for the Islanders with two more free throws. Palmer hit a career-high 14 free throws in the game going 14-of-15, while the Islanders converted 28-of-37 as a team.
After Will Pratt pulled his team to within eight with a pair of free throws, Coombs, who was 5-of-6 from behind the arc, drained a three with 6:47 left.
Palmer seeming sealed the win seconds later as Pratt was called for a technical foul. The Islander senior guard converted 3-of-4 free throws for a 14-point lead at 79-65.
Northwestern State would get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
The Islanders trailed early as the Demons had a 16-13 lead almost 10 minutes into the game, before seizing the lead with the 19-4 run to take a 12-point lead, 32-20. They would lead 44-35 at halftime
Coombs, who recorded his first 20-point game as an Islander, tied the game at 16 with a three.
Reynolds recorded a double-double pulling down 11 rebounds in the game to go with his career-high point total. The Islanders, however, lost the rebounding war 36-33 to the Demons. Demond Watt finished with 11 points, while Horace Bond added nine. Jones dished out six of the Islanders' season-high 24 assists.
Pratt led the visitors with 14 points, while Damon Jones added 13 and Baker 12. Michael McConathy finished with five assists and Charles Clark added four. William Mosley swatted four shots.
The Islanders remain at home to host Lamar on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Stripes Court.