HUNTSVILLE - Kevin Palmer and Demond Watt each scored 21 points but it wasn't enough to overcome a 25-6 first half run by Sam Houston State as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi fell 90-74 at Johnson Coliseum on Saturday.
The game was tight in the first half with Islanders twice coming back from seven-points to make it a two-point game only to see Sam Houston answer each time.
The Islanders pulled to within two, 27-25, a second time after a three-point basket by LaMarr Drake and dunk by Filip Toncinic. However, the Bearkats closed the final seven minutes of the half with a 25-6 run to make it a 52-31 game at the break.
Gilberto Clavell had 11 of his 20 first half points in the run and six others scored. He would finish with 30 points. The 52 points were the most by an Islander opponent in the first half this season.
In the second half, the Islanders trailed by 23 on an Ashton Mitchell bucket nearly four minutes. Down 20 at 68-48, the Islanders pulled to within 13 with fewer than 13 minutes left on a Marcus Hammonds bucket but would get no closer.
Drae Murray would sandwich a pair of three-point baskets around a Clavell dunk to push the margin back to 20 with eight minutes.
A pair of treys by Terence Jones pulled A&M-Corpus Christi back to within 14, but the Islanders again could not get over the hump.
After shooting 35.3% in the first half, the Islanders hit 63% in the second half outscoring SHSU 43-38. Watt was 9-of-11 en rouie to his career high while Palmer was 8-of-15.
Sam Houston hit 59.3% of its shots in the game including 10-of-26 from the three-point line. Aside from Clavell, four Bearkats reached double-digits. Corey Allmond had 15, Josten Crow 14, Murray 12 and Mitchell 10.
With the loss, the Islanders fall to 13-11 on the season and 7-3 in the Southland Conference. The Bearkats remain unbeaten in the league at 10-0 and our 18-5 on the year.
The Islanders return to Corpus Christi for a rematch with UTSA on Wednesday on Stripes Court at 7 p.m.. A&M-Corpus Christi won the opening meeting 66-62 in San Antonio in late January.