MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Terence Jones' two free throws with 1.7 seconds left iced the victory for the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team, as it knocked off Central Michigan 49-47 at McGuirk Arena on Saturday night. Trey Zeigler scored 22 points for the Chippewas in a losing effort.
Jones' nine points led the way for the Islanders, who won despite not having a single player finish in double figures. But all nine players who played in the game scored in the win for A&M – Corpus Christi, and five different players scored at least six points. The Islanders held CMU to 16-of-48 shooting on the night and forced 11 Chippewa turnovers in the win.
In addition to Zeigler's 22 points, Derek Jackson added 15 for the home squad. John Morris led all players with six rebounds in the contest.
Early on the two teams traded baskets for a 4-4 score, but the Islanders opened up a bit of a lead with a 7-1 run to make it 11-5 at the 12:41 mark. From there, the Islanders pushed the lead to 16-7 on a three by Hameed Ali and a nice drive to the hoop by Jordan Pope-Didier. CMU cut into that with four points in a row, with the score 16-11.
The Islanders cut into that mini-rally with a beautiful alley-oop from Jones to Nate Maxey, making it 18-11. The Chippewas battled back, though, cutting it to 18-16 with a 5-0 run engineered mostly by Zeigler, before the visitors got a three from Jake Kocher to put the lead back to 21-16. The two teams traded points into the half, with the Islanders getting a foul-line jumper from Pope-Didier to take a 23-19 lead into the break.
CMU scored the first five points of the second half to pull into the lead, 24-23, as the Islanders started 0-for-2 from the field with four turnovers. But Jones got the visitors off the schneid, burying a three from the right elbow to put the Islanders back ahead 26-24. Zeigler scored the next six points for CMU, with the Islanders scoring four, and the teams were knotted at 30 with 11:30 remaining.
At that point, the two teams started going blow-for-blow, with neither able to open up much of a lead. The Islanders got a clutch three from Ali to go ahead 38-36, and that started a 7-1 run that gave the visitors a 42-37 lead. The teams traded free throws to make it 44-39, then CMU scored three straight at the line to pull it to 44-42 with 2:07 remaining.
The Islanders got a free throw from Chris Hawkins-Mast to put the lead at three, but Zeigler hit on a drive to the basket to make it a one-point game with 49.4 seconds left. A&M – Corpus Christi was unable to convert on the other end, but CMU was whistled for a critical charge at the other end, and the Islanders took the ball with 5.3 seconds on the clock.
The Chippewas sent Johnathan Jordan to the line with 1.7 seconds on the clock, and the freshman hit both. Jones followed with a pair more at the stripe to ice the game, and Jackson's three at the buzzer proved irrelevant, as the Islanders emerged with the two-point win.
The Islanders return to the Coastal Bend next week for a Wednesday night affair against UTSA at the American Bank Center. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. between the Islanders and Roadrunners, in what will be the second "Los Islanders" game of the season. The team will wear special "Los Islanders" uniforms and $3 of every single-game ticket sold will go to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.