November 18, 2010

Cowboys Rally Past Islanders Late, 68-58

STILLWATER, OKLA. - Terence Jones netted a career-best 18 points and the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team gave Oklahoma State all it could handle before the Cowboys (2-0) pulled away in the closing minutes of a 68-58 ballgame on Wednesday. The Islanders (1-2) got a strong performance off the bench from freshman Jaamon Echols, who finished with nine points and three assists.

Darrell Williams had 12 rebounds to lead all players, while Marshall Moses had 17 points and nine boards as well for the Cowboys. Ray Penn delivered the key shots for OSU, scoring 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the game. Chris Mast added nine points off the bench and Horace Bond scored eight points and had seven rebounds.

The Islanders and Cowboys traded blows early on, with Ray Penn leading the way for OSU. Penn scored all four of his first-half buckets in quick succession to give the home squad a 16-12 lead with 8:18 to play. But a Jones three sparked a 9-2 run that gave Texas A&M - Corpus Christi a 21-18 lead. Another catalyst for the Islanders was Jaamon Echols, who hit a pair of free throws and dished out two assists while running the point during the stretch.

Oklahoma State rallied with a run of their own to take a 30-23 edge in the closing seconds, but Jones buried a three from the top of the key at the buzzer to make it a four-point game heading to the break.

Out of the half, both teams struggled to find their offensive touch, and the Cowboys were able to post a 35-29 lead with 15:30 to play. But from there, the Islanders continued to hang tough, and a Chris Mast bucket trimmed the game to 39-36 with 13:20 left. Mast added a pair of free throws and scored five straight Islanders points to make it a 42-40 deficit. That's when Hollis added a spark again, making a strip and then laying the ball in on the fast break to tie the game 42-42 with 11:11 remaining.

The Cowboys rallied at that point, putting up a 9-2 run to garner their largest lead of the game to that point at 51-44. Echols put a halt to that with a brilliant three from the right elbow to make it a 51-47 game and later added a crucial jumper from the base line to make it 54-51. OSU scored four straight to push the lead to seven, but this time it was Jones coming through, draining a three from the left side to trim the deficit to 58-54.

Penn delivered the daggers for the Cowboys, though, nailing a three with 3:00 left and then adding another at the 1:29 mark just before the shot clock expired on what was an impressive defensive possession for the Islanders. Penn then hit a pair of free throws and OSU converted its shots from the stripe to make the game look more lopsided than it was at the end.

The Islanders will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 21, when they take on Ohio in the opening round of the Las Vegas Invitational in Athens, Ohio. Game time is set for 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET and the game can be heard live on KSIX 1230 AM.