ISLANDERS FALL 57-56 TO UTSA AT BANK CENTER
LaMarr Drake's lob pass to Marcus Hammonds with four seconds hit the rim Wednesday night as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi came up short against rival UTSA Wednesday night at the American Bank Center, 57-56.
Kevin Palmer scored 19 points and Demond Watt netted 14 to lead the Islanders, who drop to 7-4 in the Southland Conference and 13-12 overall. UTSA moves to 5-6 in the league and is 15-9 overall.
Trailing 57-56, Morris Smith IV missed the front of a 1-and-1 with Watt grabbing the rebound. The Islanders crossed midcourt and called a timeout with 4.2 seconds on the clock. Watt led the Islanders with seven boards as they won the war on the glass, 30-28.
The Islanders went for the lob but were off target. A scramble ensued for the loose ball but the ball could not be brought gathered before the horn.
A&M-Corpus Christi, which trailed the majority of the first half and battled back from as many as 18 points down in the first 20 minutes took its first lead of the game at 47-45 on a Marcus Hammonds three-point basket.
After Smith hit a three with 8:26 left, Watt swiped a steal and converted a dunk for a 49-48 lead.
UTSA answered with five straight points as Omar Johnson scored in the paint and Gibson hit his second three-point basket of the game. The 5-0 run pushed the UTSA lead to 53-49.
Gibson would lead UTSA with 18 points, while Johnson hit three of the team's nine three-point baskets en route to 13 points.
After hitting a pair of free throws, Palmer hit a leaner in the lane to tie the game at 53 with 4:20 left.
Gibson, who was 6-of-6 at the foul line, hit a pair with 4:15 left to five the Roadrunners the lead for good. UTSA was 8-of-10 from the line in the game.
Palmer had a chance to tie the game from the charity stripe, but missed the first of two with 3:19 left. The Islanders finished 8-of-16 from the line.
Over the next two minutes, the teams traded shots before Gibson's jumper as the shot clock expired with under a minute pushed the Roadrunners advantage to 57-54.
Watt hit a pair of foul shots with 40 seconds to make it a 57-56 game. They would not get the ball again until less than 10 seconds remained.
The Islanders tried to get the ball back with solid defense but Terry Fields grabbed an offensive rebound on a Gibson miss with under 10 seconds left.
Forced to foul, the Islanders sent Smith IV to the line to set up the game's frantic end.
UTSA opened the game on fire hitting 9-of-12 from the field including 3-of-4 from behind the line in the first 9:08. They used the strong shooting to take a 24-11 lead.
Back-to-back three-point baskets by Gibson and Omar Johnson pushed the UTSA lead to as many at 33-15 with 6:58 to go in the half.
The tide would change the remainder of the half as the Islanders hit 7-of -14 to over the final 11 minutes. The Islanders struggled early hitting just 5-of-14 from the field, but finished the half 12-of-27.
Palmer, who had 10 first half points pulled the Islanders to within six, 33-27, with 1:36 to go in the half. Josh Bonney hit 1-of-2 foul shots to give the visitors a 34-27 lead.
Despite the hot start shooting, UTSA finished 40.8% from the floor. They hit 11 of their final 37 shots. The Islanders hit 48.9% from the field
The Islanders travel to McNeese State on Saturday for a 2 p.m. game with the Cowboys. They return next Wednesday the American Bank to face Southeastern Louisiana at 7 p.m.