UTSA (15-12, 7-5 SOUTHLAND) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (5-21, 3-9)
Wednesday, Feb. 22 • 7 p.m. CT
American Bank Center (8,100) • Corpus Christi, Texas
RADIO: NewsRadio 1360 AM KKTX (Steven King)
LIVE VIDEO/STATS: GoIslanders.com
THE OPENING TIP
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi returns to conference play on the winning track after posting a 49-47 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday night in the Sears Bracketbusters. The Islanders will play host to UTSA on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the American Bank Center in the second of two "Los Islanders" games this season. Steven King will have the call starting at 6:45 with the Navy/Army Community Credit Union Pregame Show.
The Islanders will look to sweep the season series with UTSA, following up on a 50-49 victory over the Roadrunners in San Antonio on Jan. 11. In that contest, Terence Jones drilled a three with 1:11 to play to lift A&M - Corpus Christi to the win. On Saturday, it was Jones' two free throws with 1.7 seconds left that iced the victory for the Islanders over CMU.
UTSA is coming off an 82-71 loss at Georgia State in the Bracketbusters, and has now lost three games in a row and five of six. The Roadrunners are in third place in the Southland West, behind UT Arlington (12-0) and Stephen F. Austin (8-4).
• The Islanders emerged victorious on Saturday without having a single player finish in double figures in scoring. It is the first time the Islanders haven't had a player hit 10 points this year. It is the first time in A&M - Corpus Christi history that the team has posted a win without a double-digit scorer.
• The Islanders have used at least 10 players in every conference game and in 23 of 26 games this year. A&M – Corpus Christi has also used eight different starting lineups, with 11 different players earning starts. Myron Dempsey is the only player to have started every game for the Islanders on the season.
• A&M – Corpus Christi improved to 4-2 when holding its opponents under 60 points this season. In all four of those victories, the Islanders have scored fewer than 60 as well. A&M - Corpus Christi has held opponents to .344 shooting in wins as opposed to .446 in losses.
• The Islanders' "big three" of Terence Jones, Chris Hawkins-Mast and Myron Dempsey combined to score just 20 points at CMU, their lowest output of the season.
• The Islanders held Central Michigan to just 33 percent from the field on Saturday. Subtracting the 8-for-16 effort from star player Trey Zeigler, the Chippewas went just 8-for-32 from the floor (25 percent).
SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS
UTSA has run into some struggles as of late, having dropped five of its last six. The Roadrunners have played four of those games on the road, and all four conference losses have come to the top four teams in the Southland.
Kannon Burrage leads UTSA in scoring, averaging 13.6 points off the bench. Melvin Johnson III (13.1) and Jeromie Hill (12.8) are just behind Burrage in scoring. The strength of the Roadrunners continues to be three-point shooting, as they are hitting at a .398 clip on the season, though that is reduced to .370 in Southland action.
LAST TIME OUT
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.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
The Islanders have played UTSA more than any other team with the exception of UT-Pan American, and A&M - Corpus Christi has posted a 10-6 mark since the athletics program restarted in 1998. The Islanders are 6-2 at home against the Roadrunners, but fell in last year's contest at the American Bank Center, 55-47.
Since joining the Southland, the Islanders are 7-5 against UTSA, including a 50-49 win for the Islanders earlier this year in San Antonio. In that contest, Terence Jones drilled a three with 1:11 left to give the Islanders the lead for good. In each of the last six contests, the margin of victory has been in single digits, including an overtime victory for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi on Jan. 23, 2010.
TWO THE HARD WAY
Junior college transfer Myron Dempsey has been an impact player on both ends for the Islanders this season. The athletic rebounder is fourth in the Southland Conference with his 7.5 rebounds per game.
On Feb. 6 at Savannah State, he snapped a cold string with his third double-double of the season, scoring 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and pulling down 11 rebounds. His finest outing of the season came against Utah State, when he delivered a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 15 caroms.
He is first on the team in steals (32) and is second in blocks (22) as well. He has also improved from the field over the last several games, going 44-for-86 (.512) the last 11 contests.
Looking closer at the stats, it is amazing to see how Dempsey has collected his points. The St. Petersburg, Fla., native has scored a total of 227 points. Of those, 170 (75 percent) have come from in the paint, including 85 of his 97 field goals. He hit two shots outside the paint both games vs. Texas State.