November 20, 2010

Men's Basketball Opens LVI at Ohio Sunday

After a brief respite, the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team returns to the court on Sunday for the first game of the iBN Las Vegas Invitational, at Ohio University on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT. The Islanders are in the midst of a five-game, 11-day swing away from the Coastal Bend which commenced on Wednesday at Oklahoma State. By the conclusion of the LVI, the team will have played its first seven games in a span of just 15 days.

The Islanders (1-2) are coming off a 68-58 defeat at OSU where they gave the Cowboys all they could handle before fading in the final three minutes. Terence Jones had his second straight game with a career high in points, netting 18, and Jaamon Echols and Chris Mast each tallied nine points off the bench in the loss.

Ohio sits at 1-1 after suffering a 78-66 loss to Oakland on Monday, Nov. 15. D.J. Cooper is averaging 21.6 points per game for the Bobcats.

QUICK HITS
- The Islanders are one of eight teams to play in the LVI. The first two games are at campus sites for each team.
- Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 2-5 against the MAC and 0-4 in Ohio all-time.
- Sophomore Terence Jones is averaging 17 points over his last two games and is 6-for-13 from beyond the arc.
- Senior Demond Watt is currently second in the Southland Conference in rebounding (10.3), fifth in blocks (1.3) and 16th in scoring (14.0). Jones is fourth in free-throw percentage (.909).

LV INVITE
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is one of eight teams to play in the iBN Las Vegas Invitational. The first two games will be played at campus sites (at Ohio and Kansas for the Islanders) and the final two games will be played in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Orleans Arena on Nov. 26 and 27.

Also joining Texas A&M - Corpus Christi in the event are Bethune-Cookman, who the Islanders play on Nov. 26, Northern Colorado and Valparaiso, who they potentiallyl could play on Nov. 27, and Arizona and Santa Clara, who the Islanders will not play. The two games in Las Vegas will be streamed live courtesy iBN Sports.

THE LAST TIME
Sunday's game will mark the first meeting between the Islanders and Bobcats in the history of the two schools. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi has a 2-5 all-time record against schools from the Mid-American Conference, including a 1-3 mark against Kent State, a 1-1 record against Eastern Michigan and an 0-1 tally versus Northern Illinois. This marks the third time in four years that the Islanders have visited the Buckeye State, as they made trips there to face Kent State in both 2007-08 and last season.

MR. JONES
A year ago as a redshirt freshman, Terence Jones was an up-and-down player who showed flashes of brilliance. But this season, the Baltimore native is trying to change that perception to one of a more consistent performer. His recent upswing has given the Islanders a weapon from the outside in addition to a slashing guard that can get to the rim.

Against Texas A&M, Jones was dynamite in transition, including an athletic steal and layup and a brilliant conversion of a traditional three-point play in the first half against the Aggies. But in addition to his ability to get to the rim, perhaps more important was his ability to convert free throws when he was fouled going to the rack. Jones went 7-for-7 at the stripe in the game, and finished with a career-best 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

In the game against the Cowboys on Wednesday, Jones showed a different weapon, as he proved deadly from beyond the arc in posting his second straight career high with 18 points. Jones went 5-for-11 from downtown (6-for-13 overall), including a clutch three just before the first half buzzer sounded to draw the Islanders within four.

RACKING UP THE MILES
The Islanders will certainly see a big chunk of the country over this five-game road swing. On the trip, the team will cover 4,793 nautical miles in flights in addition to mileage racked up on the bus. The team will touch down in seven states in their travels, and will appear in three different time zones.