January 29, 2010

ISLANDERS, SHSU TO DO BATTLE SATURDAY IN CLASH OF SOUTHLAND UNBEATENS

When the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team hosts Sam Houston State on Saturday it will pit the top two teams in the Southland Conference against each other on Stripes Court. The game is slated to tip at 7 p.m. at the American Bank Center.

Coaches for both sides will be participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend. The staff will wear gym shoes on the sidelines during the game.

The game can be heard on ESPN 1230 KSIX and will be streamed live on www.goislanders.com. Live stats will also be available.

The Islanders have improved to 11-8 with six straight wins after downing UTPA on Monday night 66-51 in their final non-Southland Conference game of the season. Included in the six straight wins is the Islanders second consecutive 5-0 start to league play under head coach Perry Clark. It is the fifth time as a head coach that Clark has begun league play 5-0.

On Saturday, the Islanders will face the Bearkats (13-5), who snapped the streak a season ago in Huntsville with a 72-51 win. Sam Houston, who is also 5-0, swept the season series a year ago winning 75-73 in Corpus Christi as Kevin Palmer missed a last second three-basket.

Palmer enters the game continuing his chase of history. In his second season with the Islanders, Palmer is just 10 points from reaching 1,000 points in his career. With 15 points at UTPA, Palmer tied Michael Hicks' record for consecutive double-digit performances. He is second in the SLC with 20.9 points a game and 18th in the nation. Entering the week, Palmer was fifth in the nation in steals.

Palmer was the preseason choice by some for Southland Conference Player of the Year. He will be facing one of his top challengers for the award in Cory Allmond, who also was a preseason favorite for the award. Entering the game, Allmond is in the top five in the league in scoring at 16.8 points a game and is seventh in the nation with 3.3 three-point baskets a game and 27th in three-point shooting at 42.4 percent.

Demond Watt leads the islanders with 8.2 rebounds a contest and is second with 11.9 points a game. Justin Reynolds is just shy of scoring 10 points a game with 9.8. Watt is the top shooter in the SLC hitting 62.4 percent of his shots and leads the league with 2.6 blocks in Southland action. Terence Jones is fourth in SLC action with 4.2 assists a game.

As a team, the Bearkats were second in the nation in both assists per game with 20.2 and assist-to-turnover ratio entering the week. The Southland's top scoring offense at 79.2 points a game, SHSU is 11th in the nation with 8.8 three-point baskets a game. They are outscoring foes by nearly 11 points a game to lead the league

Three SHSU players are averaging double figures. Aside from Allmond, newcomer Gilberto Clavell is scoring 15.5 a game, while leading the team with 6.2 rebounds. Allmond's backcourt mate Ashton Mitchell leads the team with 4.8 a game and is scoring 12 points a contest.