Men's Basketball Heads North to Face UT-ArlingtonTEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (6-11, 1-2 SLC) AT UT - ARLINGTON (7-9, 1-2 SLC)
Wednesday, Jan. 19 • 7 p.m. CT
Texas Hall (3,600) • Arlington, Texas
RADIO: 1230 AM, 103.3 and 96.1 FM (Steven King)
LIVE STATS: UTAMavs.com
THE OPENING TIP
Fresh off its first conference win of the 2010-11 season, the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team will look for its first first set of back-to-back triumphs on the year when it heads north for a matchup with UT-Arlington on Wednesday. The Islanders knocked off Southeastern Louisiana, 62-59, in a dramatic win at the American Bank Center on Saturday, Jan. 15. Horace Bond drilled a three-ball from the top of the key to break a 57-57 tie and lift the Islanders to the victory. Demond Watt had his conference-leading seventh double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Mavericks come into the contest at 7-9 overall and 1-2 in the conference after a 76-72 loss to Lamar in Arlington on Saturday. UTA posted an impressive 65-58 win over Sam Houston State a week ago in addition to a 66-48 loss at Nicholls in its conference opener. Against the Cardinals, the Mavericks rallied from a 13-point deficit with 3:59 to play to make it a four-point game with 20 seconds left, but could get no closer in the loss.
• Head Coach Perry Clark won his 300th career game on Saturday, becoming the 74th active coach to reach the milestone in Division I. The veteran coach is now 300-260 in his 19-year career, and was named the 1992 National Coach of the Year.
• Junior college transfer Chris Mast has posted back-to-back games in double figures in his second and third career starts. Mast had a career-high 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting in a loss to UTSA and followed that up with 10 points in the win over Southeastern Louisiana. The native of Washington, D.C., is 12-for-20 from the field over the last three games.
• Senior Demond Watt has had four games with 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds among seven double-doubles this season. His 18 career double-doubles are third in school history, and he has finished with double-digit rebounds in four of his last five contests.
• Senior Justin Reynolds has been heating up as of late. He has averaged 11.6 points and 7.7 rebounds over the last 12 games. Reynolds put up his best game of the season Jan. 2 at Texas Tech. The Pearland, Texas, native scored a season-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and also had three steals. He had 11 boards on Saturday against SELA.
• Watt and Reynolds are just the second pair of Islanders teammates to top 1,000 career points at the same time, joining Corey Lamkin and Travis Bailey, who did so in 2005.
• The Islanders played one of the toughest non-conference slates in the nation this year. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi played six teams that made the 2010 NCAA Tournament and two that made the 2010 NIT in non-conference play.
• Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is still searching for its first road victory, sitting at 0-7 on the year. The Islanders are now 4-2 this season at home to go along a 2-2 neutral-site mark.
SCOUTING THE MAVS
UT-Arlington comes into Wednesday 1-2 in conference play and 7-9 overall, having alternated wins and losses over the last four games. That stretch snapped a six-game losing streak that saw the Mavericks fall in six straight road contests. The Islanders and Mavs have three common opponents, with both defeating St. Edward's and both losing to Texas Tech and Kansas.
LaMarcus Reed leads UTA with 13.4 points per game, while Bo Ingram has added 10.8 each time out. Brandon Edwards leads the squad with 6.1 rebounds, though Ingram has put up 6.3 in conference.
Head Coach Perry Clark won his 300th career game on Saturday, becoming the 74th active coach to reach the milestone in Division I. He joins New Hampshire's Bill Herrion and Gonzaga's Mark Few in making the club this year. The veteran coach is now 300-260 in his 19-year career, and was named the 1992 National Coach of the Year.
Early in the season, junior college transfer Chris Mast was one of the top sparkplugs off the bench for the Islanders. But in his last two games, the transfer from the College of Eastern Utah raised his game to another level.
Mast scored a career-best 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go along with three rebounds, three assists and two steals. The native of Washington, D.C., set the tone for his breakthrough contest in the opening minute, when he swiped a UTSA pass and took it all the way for a fast-break dunk to put the Islanders up 2-0. Mast went 4-for-4 in the second half to keep the Islanders in step with the Roadrunners. Twelve of the slashing guard's 16 points came in the paint, with the other four on a three-pointer and a free throw.
He followed that up with a 10-point outing against Southeastern La. on Saturday, going 3-for-6 from the field. He played a career-high 36 minutes in the victory.
Against Houston, he filled in for the injured Garland Judkins with a solid 33 minutes, scoring seven points with two steals, two rebounds and two assists. His biggest points came in the final minutes, as he drained a teardrop in the lane to tie the game at 72 and send the teams to overtime.
He added five points and four assists in just 16 minutes of action against Memphis, including a three that gave the Islanders a 45-43 lead with under 10 minutes to play.
The native of Washington, D.C., who also scored nine points at Oklahoma State, is averaging 20.6 minutes and 5.2 points so far this year. His 15 steals on the season are the most by any Islanders bench player.
The Islanders have played their best basketball this season when getting scoring from a wide array of sources. The Islanders are 2-1 when seeing four players score in double figures and 4-3 when three men hit double digits.
Though only two players finished in double figures, the trend continued against Southeastern Louisiana. In addition to Demond Watt's 13 and Chris Mast's 10, the Islanders got nine points from Garland Judkins and Justin Reynolds in addition to seven from Horace Bond.