November 21, 2010

Watt Scores Career-Best 26 in Loss to Ohio

ATHENS, OHIO - Demond Watt

scored a career-high 26 points and added 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season, but it was not enough as the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team fell 83-70 to Ohio on Sunday. In the preliminary round of the iBN Las Vegas Invitational, DeVaughn Washington led the Bobcats (2-1) with 16 points, while Terence Jones finished in double figures for the third straight game for the Islanders (1-3) with 11.

Justin Reynolds added a season-best 10 points and six boards for the Islanders, while Nick Kellogg (13), Reggie Keely (12) and Ivo Baltic (12) all finished in double figures for OU. The Bobcats won the battle of the boards, 36-33, in the game.

The first half featured repeated runs in each direction to result in a 44-26 score in favor of OU at the break. The Islanders got out to a 5-0 lead, but Ohio countered with 13 straight points, eight from Washington, to gain a 13-5 advantage of its own. Then Texas A&M - Corpus Christi had yet another run, putting up a 12-5 rally to trim the game to a one-point deficit at the 9:13 mark. Jawan Nelson and Hollis Hill each buried threes in the run, while Watt had a pair of buckets as well.

T.J. Hall snapped that with a 5-0 run on his own, hitting a three and adding a pair from the stripe. That sent the Bobcats on a 21-6 rally to gain their largest lead of the game at 39-23. Watt snapped the skein with a three-point play, but Ohio's Asown Sayles netted the last five points of the half to result in the 18-point advantage at the buzzer. The OU bench comprised 27 of the team's 44 points at the break.

The Islanders ran into some tough luck out of the locker room, as a strong defensive possession forced a last-ditch trey at the buzzer that fell for Tommy Freeman, and the Bobcats scored the opening five points of the half for a 49-26 advantage. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi scored the next nine points, though, with two buckets from Reynolds and a triple from Jaamon Echols the key points to make it 49-35.

The Islanders rallied with a 9-0 run midway through the stanza to pull within 12 at 58-46. Watt was the main catalyst, scoring seven of the nine Islanders points, with Reynolds posting the other two. Again, though, the Bobcats were game, stunting the rally with a 7-3 advantage over the next two minutes, culminating with a Baltic fast-break jam to make it a 16-point edge for the home squad.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi refused to back down, though, rallying to trim the deficit to 12 points at 71-59 with 4:17 remaining. A Watt putback dunk and a pair of free throws by Hollis got the game to 73-63 with 2:29 left, but Freeman buried a pair of triples in the minute that followed to put the game out of reach. The Bobcats also buried their free throws down the stretch, as they did all game. OU went 16-for-19 from the stripe in the victory.

Up next for the Islanders is seventh-ranked Kansas in the second game of the iBN Las Vegas Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Game time is set for 7 p.m. CT at Phog Allen Fieldhouse and the game can be heard live on KSIX 1230 AM in Corpus Christi. The contest will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN3.com and ESPN Full Court.