December 31, 2010

Islanders Knock Off Montreat, 84-77

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team placed three players in double figures and scored 44 points in the paint in posting an 84-77 win over Montreat College (4-8) on Thursday, Dec. 30, in the consolation game of the Dr. Pepper Classic. The Islanders (5-8) matched a season high with 19 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Cavaliers 45-27.

Demond Watt led all scorers with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and also became the eighth player in Islanders history to top 1,000 career points, just three games after teammate Justin Reynolds entered the club. Reynolds had 13 points and seven boards for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, while Hollis Hill added 12 points. Chris Mast had four steals and seven rebounds in a solid performance off the bench.

Cameron Hayes scored 16 points for Montreat, going 4-for-4 from downtown in a losing effort. The Cavaliers placed five players in double figures and scored 44 points off the bench.

After Montreat jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, the Islanders' seniors put together a 10-0 run, with Watt and Reynolds each scoring four and Horace Bond adding a layup of his own. Eight of the 10 points came in the paint, as Texas A&M - Corpus Christi built an 11-6 edge. The teams traded blows to an 18-14 Islanders advantage, then Mast sparked an 8-2 run with a steal and layup, and Hill followed by burying back-to-back triples to make it 26-16.

Down 30-18, Montreat mounted a mini-rally, scoring five straight points, but Watt thwarted the run with a layup for his 1,000th career point, joining Reynolds in that club for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. But with every Islanders rally, the Cavaliers were able to counter, using strong outside shooting to stay close. Montreat was 5-of-11 from beyond the arc in the opening stanza, and entered the locker room down just five at 41-36.

Out of the break, Montreat pulled within three at 43-40 before the Islanders strung together a 10-2 rally to push the advantage to 11. Still, the Cavaliers were able to respond, with Hayes burying a pair of threes to make it 55-50. The Islanders then got back-to-back treys from Mast and Terence Jones to push the lead back to 63-54, but Montreat again was able to stem the tide, notching four straight points to trim the deficit to 64-58 at the 7:54 mark.

After the two teams traded baskets, the Islanders put up a decisive 9-3 run with Reynolds scoring four straight points and Antonio Topps adding a triple from the right wing in the rally to make it 75-63. Montreat was able to hit several shots down the stretch to result in the final score.

The Islanders return to action on Sunday, Jan. 2, when they visit Lubbock, Texas, for a matchup with Texas Tech. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. CT, and the contest will be televised on ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.com.