CORPUS CHRISTI – Terence Jones scored a career-high 26 points and Chris Hawkins-Mast matched his career mark with 16, but Texas Tech was able to hold on for a 61-54 victory over the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi basketball team on Thursday night on Stripes Court at the American Bank Center. The Islanders played in front of a season-high 2,719 fans.
Jaye Crockett led the Red Raiders (4-3) with 12 points and nine boards, while four other Tech players finished with eight points or more. Hawkins-Mast topped the Islanders with nine rebounds, while Johnathan Jordan had a career-best six assists. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi (1-4) had a season-low five turnovers in the loss.
The two teams traded threes early on, but the Red Raiders upped their inside play and went on a 6-0 run for a 9-3 lead. The Islanders trimmed it to a 12-7 deficit, but Tech rallied for six straight points, two on a fast-break layup by Ty Nurse to push the lead to 18-7 in favor of the visitors.
Jones' second triple of the night stopped the rally, and that sparked a 12-2 run to trim the deficit to a single point at 20-19. Jones had three shots from long range in the run and Jason Smith added a three-point play. From there, the teams went back-and-forth toward the end of the half, with the Islanders running off a 4-0 rally to finish the half.
Jones was on fire from the floor in the opening stanza, scoring 17 of the Islanders' 27 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including four threes in eight tries. Smith had six points as well for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders won the battle of the boards, 20-12, and held the Red Raiders without an offensive rebound in the half.
Out of the break, the Islanders struck first with a Chris Hawkins-Mast three, but Tech countered with a triple of its own. After a Red Raiders putback put them back in the lead, Chris Hawkins-Mast converted a three-point play to put the Islanders back in the lead. But Tech rallied with a 9-2 run for a 40-35 edge.
The two teams battled back-and-forth over the next several possessions, with Texas Tech holding a 48-42 lead at the 6:14 mark. The Islanders chipped away to pull to 48-45, but Toddrick Gotcher's layup pushed it to a five-point edge at 50-45. The Red Raiders pushed the lead back to eight, but the home squad trimmed it to a five-point deficit with the ball. Unfortunately for the Islanders, they were unable to convert and Texas Tech hit its free throws down the stretch to finish off the victory.
The Islanders will have a quick turnaround, as they play Houston in a road contest on Saturday night. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Hofheinz Pavilion. Live audio and statistics will be available on GoIslanders.com.