Islanders Travel to UCA for Season Finale
Saturday, March 5 • 4 p.m. CT
Farris Center (5,500) • Conway, Ark.
RADIO: 1230 AM, 103.3 and 96.1 FM (Steven King)
LIVE STATS: UCASports.com
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team will finish off its 2010-11 campaign with a road game at Central Arkansas on Saturday, March 5, at 4 p.m. The contest will represent the final game in the careers of fourth-year seniors Horace Bond, Justin Reynolds, Antonio Topps and Demond Watt.
The Islanders are coming off an impressive, 95-83 win over UT Arlington on Wednesday in which five players finished in double figures and the team shot 57.4 percent from the floor. Justin Reynolds had a career-high 26 points to go with 10 boards, while Terence Jones had his first double-double with 10 points and 10 assists. The Islanders were 13-of-26 from long range in the win.
Central Arkansas enters the contest with a 5-23 record overall and a 1-14 mark in Southland play. Since a 62-59 win over Southeastern Louisiana, the Bears have lost nine straight contests in conference action. Last time out, UCA fell to UTSA 70-58 in San Antonio.
• A season-high five Islanders finished in double figures on Wednesday, as the squad put up its highest point output of the season in a 95-83 win. Horace Bond (8) and Jawan Nelson (7) were both one basket away from making it six in double digits.
• Senior Demond Watt became the all-time rebound king in Islanders history on Wednesday. With nine boards, the Chicago native moved past Corey Lamkin (2001-05) for a new school record of 845 rebounds.
• Senior Justin Reynolds had the best offensive game in his career on Wednesday, scoring a career-best 26 points to go along with 10 rebounds and three assists. Over his last five games, Reynolds has averaged 17.6 each time out and has led the Islanders in scoring three times. He also has three double-doubles in the last seven games.
• On senior night, the Islanders got 60 of their 95 points from seniors. In addition to Reynolds' 26 and Watt's 14, Antonio Topps poured in 12 and Horace Bond added eight.
• Sophomore Terence Jones posted one of the best all-around games by an Islander this season on Wednesday, as he had a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists, and also added six boards and four steals. The 10 dimes were one off the school record.
• Entering the contest with UTA, the Islanders were the worst shooting team from beyond the arc in the conference. But Texas A&M - Corpus Christi looked like a completely different team the last time out, knocking down 13-of-26 shots from beyond the arc, as four different Islanders had at least two triples.
• Reynolds and fellow senior Demond Watt 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. Watt (1,252) is fifth in school history, while Reynolds (1,236) is sixth in Islanders lore.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
In Corliss Williamson's first season at the helm of Central Arkansas, the Bears have struggled to a 5-23 overall record and a 1-14 mark in conference action. UCA's lone Southland triumph came over Southeastern Louisiana in Conway.
UCA has embodied the "40 minutes of hell" philosophy that Williamson experienced as a player at Arkansas, and is pressuring opponents to the tune of 16.5 turnovers per game. Imad Qahwash leads the team with his 12.6 points per game, principally coming off the bench, while four others average between 8.7 and 10 points per outing.
A LOOK AT THE SOUTHLAND
With one game remaining per team, the Southland is still undecided. Five teams are still in the hunt for the regular-season title, and five teams are still fighting for the final three spots in the tournament. Texas State and McNeese lead their respective divisions at 10-5, but after that, a tight race emerges.
Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State sit at 9-6 and will play each other on Saturday, while Sam Houston State brings its 9-6 record up against the Bobcats. Nicholls and Southeastern will battle in a matchup between 8-7 squads, while UTSA (8-7) and UT Arlington (7-8) will tousle for one of the final spots in. Lamar (7-8) will look to upset McNeese to get into the postseason. The Islanders (4-11) and UCA (1-14) are the only two teams that have officially been eliminated.
KING OF THE BOARDS
Demond Watt became the Islanders' all-time leading rebounder on Wednesday night, grabbing nine caroms to put him at 845 career boards. That passed Corey Lamkin (2001-05) for the top spot in school history. Watt is second in blocks (135) and fifth in points (1,252) in school history as well.
Senior Justin Reynolds came into this season as one of the most popular players in program history. But after a slow start to his final campaign in an Islanders uniform, even the most devoted of fans had to question whether he had lost some of his luster.
After a dry spell, the Pearland, Texas, native has caught fire as of late. He poured in a career-best 26 in his final game at the American Bank Center, and posted his third double-double of the last seven games when he pulled down 10 boards. Reynolds has averaged 17.6 points over the last five games and has led the team in scoring five times. His 26 points matched Demond Watt's output at Ohio for the most by an Islanders player this season.
He rang in the New Year with his previous best performance of the season, scoring 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with three steals against Texas Tech.
Reynolds, who was named to the Dr. Pepper Classic All-Tournament Team for his efforts on the court, is averaging 10.8 points per game after his 26 on Wednesday. He is in the top seven in school history in eight different categories.
A year ago as a redshirt freshman, Terence Jones was an up-and-down player who showed flashes of brilliance. As of late, Jones has become an important distributor for the Islanders, and leads the team with his 75 assists.
On Wednesday against UT Arlington, Jones had his finest game in an Islanders uniform, setting career highs with 10 assists, four steals and six rebounds and adding 10 points for his first career double-double. The 10 dimes were just one off the school record.
After not showing the scoring touch he had early in the season, Jones exploded for 21 points at Sam Houston State. The Baltimore native went 4-of-7 from downtown and 8-of-14 overall with four assists.
In the two games in Las Vegas, he proved to be a far more impressive all-around player. Against Bethune-Cookman, Jones shot a three early in the shot clock and head coach Perry Clark sent a message by pulling him in the opening minute.
Rather than sulk, Jones changed his game, and against Valpo he had a season-high five assists to just one turnover. Over the last 19 games, he has posted 54 assists to 40 turnovers, including three games with at least four assists and no turns.