January 2, 2011

Texas Tech Topples Men's Basketball, 70-55

LUBBOCK, Texas - Justin Reynolds had a season-high 20 points, but Texas Tech was able to stymie the rest of the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team, sending the Islanders (5-9) to a 70-55 loss on Sunday. David Tairu (18) and Mike Singletary (17) were the offensive stars for the Red Raiders (7-7) in the victory.

Reynolds was 8-of-10 from the field to go along with six rebounds and four steals. Demond Watt had a solid second half to finish with his sixth double-double of the year (10 points, 11 rebounds), while Terence Jones scored all 11 of his points after halftime, including a 6-of-8 performance at the line.

The two teams went back-and-forth early on, with the Islanders holding an early 8-7 lead at the 11:28 mark. Reynolds scored five straight points for the Islanders early on in the contest with a free throw and a pair of buckets inside. But the Red Raiders responded with a quick 7-0 run to take control early with a 14-8 advantage. Neither team was effective offensively early, as the Islanders opener 3-of-14 and Texas Tech opened 3-of-12.

Jawan Nelson snapped the skein with a free throw, but after TTU responded with a bucket at the other end, Reynolds hit a clutch three and added another basket to make it 18-14 Tech with 3:38 to go before the break. The Red Raiders responded by going to a press defensively and rolled off an 8-0 run for a 26-14 lead. The two teams traded baskets down the stretch, and the home squad was able to enter the locker room with a game-high 15 point lead at 33-18. After the slow start, Tech finished the half 10-of-14 from the field, the crushing basket a trey from Tairu just before the buzzer.

The Red Raiders carried their hot shooting into the second half, as Tairu and Singletary buoyed the squad to an 8-4 run out of the break. Nelson again provided the basket that stopped the run, burying a three, but Texas Tech was able to counter that bucket and a Horace Bond three-point play to maintain a 47-28 edge with 12:55 to play. Tech was then able to mount another rally, pushing the lead to 57-30 with a 10-2 run.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi rallied from that point on, cutting the lead nearly in half in the closing minutes. Reynolds and Jones were able to respond for the Islanders, combining to score the team's next 11 points and cut the lead to 62-41. But after a strong defensive possession for the visitors, Singletary buried a clutch jumper to slow the run at 64-41. The Islanders continued to chip away to the end of the game, but were only able to draw as close as the final score of 70-55.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is off the rest of the week, as the squad opens conference play on Saturday, Jan. 8, at McNeese State. Game time is slated for 3 p.m. in Lake Charles, La., in Burton Coliseum.