BEAUMONT - Kevin Palmer finished with 28 points and three others had double-digits as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi raced to a 79-55 victory over Lamar at the Montagne Center Wednesday night.
With the win the Islanders moved to 9-6 in the Southland Conference and 15-14 overall. With the win and losses by UT Arlington and UTSA, the Islanders moved a step closer to securing the third seed in the upcoming State Farm Southland Conference Tournament in Katy at the Merrell Center.
In the first half, the game was tight with 14 lead changes until Palmer heated up and gave the Islanders the lead for good. The senior, who had a season-high 32 points in the first meeting between the two sides, ended the half with a personal 12-5 run. The run pulled the Islanders from two points down, 24-22, to a lead of 34-29 at the break.
Palmer opened the second half with a three-point basket to make it an eight-point game early in the second. After a foul shot by Anthony Miles, Reynolds threw down a dunk and Palmer had a put back.
Lamar pulled back to within seven points with four points in a row by Justin Nabors with just over 16 minutes to go. However the Islanders responded with a 17-6 run to seize control of the win. Watt began the run with a dunk, while Shamar Coombs added five. LaMarr Drake and Filip Toncinic each had three-point basketss in the decisive run Toncinic's three made it 58-40 with 10:57 left.
Lamar would get no closer than 14 points the remainder of the game.
Aside from Palmer's 28, Watt added 11, while Justin Reynolds and Toncinic each had 10. The Islanders enjoyed their second-best shooting night of the SLC season hitting over 50 percent in each half and 54.4 from the floor for the game. TAMUCC out-rebounded the Cardinals 34-30 as Watt and Palmer each had eight rebounds. Palmer added five steals.
A&M-Corpus Christi's bench had an impressive 23-6 advantage.
Miles led Lamar with 14 points, while Justin Nabors recorded his 14th double-double of the season with with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Reggie Mathis added 11.
The Islanders close out the regular season on Saturday night against UT Arlington at 7 p.m. It will be the final regular season games for seniors Shamar Coombs, LaMarr Drake, Marcus Hammonds, Kevin Palmer and Filip Toncinic.