ISLANDERS PICK UP SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN
EDINBURG - Three Texas A&M-Corpus Christi players scored in double figures Monday night as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi handed Texas-Pan American a 66-51 defeat at the UTPA Fieldhouse.
Kevin Palmer, who posted his school-record tying 41st straight game with double figures, and Justin Reynolds each had 15 points. Demond Watt recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. It was his fifth double-double of the season.
With the win, the Islanders moved to 11-8 on the year. The Broncs are 3-18.
The Islanders scored the first seven points and jumped out to an early 9-2 lead as they used their advantage inside. Demond Watt opened the scoring before Justin Reynolds scored the Islanders next seven points for a 9-2 lead at the 16:26 mark.
UTPA's Luis Valera helped the Broncs get back into the game as he had back-to-back buckets and scored the hosts first six points of the game.
The hosts tied the game at 11 with 12:20 remaining as Nick Weiermiller drained a three. After Jawan Nelson put himself in the scoring column with a jumper, Matt Mierzycki gave the Broncs their only lead of the game as he converted the three-point play at the 10:38 mark.
The Islanders disliked losing the lead and responded with a 19-4 run the rest of the half. Six different players contributed points to the runs that game the Islanders a 32-18 lead. Watt had five points in the run, while Marcus Hammonds closed the run with four straight points to end the half. Palmer had a three-point basket, while Shamar Coombs had three. Terence Jones and Antonio Topps each had two points.
A&M-Corpus Christi came out on fire in the final 20 minutes building as much as a 23-point lead at 46-23. Palmer had eight points in the first six minutes as the Islanders hit 7-of-11 from the field to start the half.
UTPA would pull back to within 12 at 58-46 on a three-point basket by ChaRunn Jones with less than four to go, but they would get no closer.
For the game, the Islanders shot 50% hitting 24-of-48 field goals, while out-rebounding UTPA 46-29. Aside from Watt's career-high tying 13, Coombs and Palmer each had six boards. The held the Broncs to 29.6%. Matt Mierzycki led the Broncs with 14 points.
A&M-Corpus Christi returns to Stripes Court to face Sam Houston State on Saturday in a key Southland meeting. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. start at the American Bank Center. Both teams enter the week unbeaten in the Southland Conference.