Men's Basketball Set to Take On MarquetteTEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI (3-5) at MARQUETTE (6-2)
Tuesday, Dec. 7 • 8 p.m. CT
(19,000) • Milwaukee, Wis.
RADIO: 1230 AM, 103.3 and 96.1 FM (Steven King)
TV: ESPN Game Plan/ESPN3.com
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team heads north for its fourth road game against a 2010 NCAA Tournament team on Tuesday night, when it will square off with Marquette at the Bradley Center. The Islanders have never faced off with the Golden Eagles and are 2-1 all-time against BIG EAST foes, with an 85-70 loss to DePaul and two neutral-site wins over South Florida. Tuesday night's contest will also mark the first time the Islanders have ever played in the state of Wisconsin.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi knocked off St. Edward's on Wednesday night with an impressive 77-56 win at the American Bank Center, using a 22-2 second-half run to put away the Hilltoppers. Demond Watt had his fourth 20-10 game of the season with exactly 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Justin Reynolds had 15 and seven and Hollis Hill notched a career-best 11 points. The Islanders shot a season-best 50.9 percent and outrebounded SEU 44-20 in the contest.
- Senior Demond Watt has had four games with 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds this season. His 15 career double-doubles are third in school history.
- Watt is currently tied for the lead in the Southland Conference in rebounding (10.5), is fifth in blocks (1.3) and field goal percentage (61.0) and eighth in scoring (16.5).
- Senior Justin Reynolds has three straight games in double digits after turning the trick just once in the first five games. He is averaging 12.7 points and 8.7 boards the last three games.
- Reynolds is just 20 points shy of entering the 1,000-point club, while Watt is only 62 points away from the career milestone.
- The Islanders have played the eighth toughest schedule in the country according to college basketball stats guru Ken Pomeroy (kenpom.com). Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will play five teams that made the 2010 NCAA Tournament in out-of-conference play.
- Redshirt sophomore Terence Jones has often been known for his scoring, but he showed a different aspect of his game against Valparaiso on Nov. 27. The Baltimore native had a career-high five assists against Valpo and matched his season and career high with three steals against St. Edward's.
THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Marquette has had a strong start to the 2010-11 season, opening 6-2 with its only losses to national powers Duke and Gonzaga at the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. The Golden Eagles are 5-0 at home and have won their home games by an average of 22.8 points.
Jimmy Butler is averaging 15.9 points and 6.1 rebounds, while Darius Johnson-Odom has scored 14.4 points every time out. Forward Jae Crowder has provided a spark off the bench, scoring 11.1 points and leading the team with 6.5 rebounds despite not having a start to his credit. The Golden Eagles are shooting 49.7 percent from the field, including Chris Otule's impressive .833 shooting.
Senior Demond Watt was one of the top power forwards in the Southland Conference last year, but so far this season he has put up some eye-popping numbers, even for him.
Watt scored 20 points and grabbed 10 boards against St. Edward's, his fourth such game in eight contests this season. In fact, he has put up a 20-10 outing every other game on the year. In his career, he has 15 double-doubles to his credit, the third-highest total in school history.
Watt was named to the iBN Las Vegas Invitational All-Tournament Team for his efforts in the City of Lights. He posted his third double-double of the season against Bethune-Cookman, and in fact had done so before halftime. The Chicago native finished with 23 points and 15 boards, each the second-highest mark of the year for the big man.
On Nov. 21 against Ohio, Watt posted one of the top performances in the Southland this year, pouring in a career-high 26 points to go along with 12 rebounds and a career-high tying five assists. Against Texas A&M on Nov. 15, Watt showed up in a big way, with 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. It marked the most rebounds by an Islander player since Corey Lamkin had 18 at Air Force on Jan. 21, 2004.
IN ON 1,000
Senior Justin Reynolds is on the verge of entering an elite club for the Islanders. The native of Pearland, Texas, has scored 980 points in his career, the seventh-most in school history. He is just 20 points away from becoming the seventh player to don the Islanders uniform to make it the 1,000-point mark. Chris Daniels is the school record holder, with 1,407 points from 2004-08.
Reynolds has heated up recently after a slow start, posting three straight games in double figures and four games with 10-plus points in his last five. Against Bethune-Cookman, he notched his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 boards.
Teammate Demond Watt is also on pace to top the 1,000-point plateau this season, with 938 in his time on the team. Watt also posted his 100th career block against the Aggies, second in school history, and now has 107 in his tenure. He is third in Islanders lore with his 660 rebounds over three-plus seasons.
In addition to the difficulty of recently playing five games away from Corpus Christi in four different states and three time zones over a span of just 11 days, the Islanders also have taken on one of the toughest schedules in the nation. According to college basketball stats guru Ken Pomeroy, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi has played the eighth toughest schedule in the nation.
The Islanders have faced off with three teams in the top 58, including No. 1 Kansas, No. 30 Texas A&M and No. 58 Oklahoma State. The road gets no easier over the next couple weeks, with road games against No. 41 Marquette, No. 29 Memphis and No. 90 Texas Tech coming up before the start of conference play.