TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (5-22, 3-10) AT STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (16-11, 9-4)
Saturday, Feb. 25 • 6 p.m. CT
Johnson Coliseum (7,203) • Nacogdoches, Texas
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team returns to the road over the weekend for a Saturday evening matchup with Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches. The game will be aired live on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX and GoIslanders.com with Steven King on the call beginning at 5:45 p.m. for the Navy/Army Community Credit Union Pregame Show.
The Lumberjacks have already clinched a spot in the 2012 Southland Conference Tournament, and can secure the No. 3 seed with a win over the Islanders and some help. The 'Jacks can do no better than third, with UTA having already clinched the West Division title and the No. 1 seed. SFA is 7-2 over its last nine, its only losses to the league's top two teams. The Lumberjacks are the only Division I team that has not allowed 70 points to an opponent this year.
The Islanders are coming off a tough loss to UTSA, where the Roadrunners tied the game with 1.6 seconds left then outscored the Islanders 9-5 in overtime. Five players for A&M - Corpus Christi finished in double figures.
• A&M – Corpus Christi placed five players in double figures for the first time this season when the starting five all had 10 points or more against UTSA. The last time the Islanders did that was against UTA on March 2 of last season.
• The Islanders also saw two freshmen post double-doubles in the same game, as Nate Maxey (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Johnathan Jordan (12 points, 10 assists) each posted their first career double-doubles in the contest. The last time two Islanders had double-doubles in the same game was last year against Bethune-Cookman (Demond Watt and Justin Reynolds).
• The 31 field goals for the Islanders on Wednesday was the most this season, eclipsing the previous high (26 vs. UTA) by five. It matched last year's season high, in the aforementioned March 2 game.
• In stark contrast, the Islanders emerged victorious at Central Michigan without having a single player finish in double figures in scoring. It is the first time in Islanders history that the team won without a double-digit scorer.
• Jordan's 10 dimes were the most since Terence Jones had 10 in that same UTA contest last year. It was one shy of the school record, set by Sennai Atsbeha in 2000. Jordan is six assists from the Islanders season record.
SCOUTING THE LUMBERJACKS
Stephen F. Austin has posted an impressive season in conference play, going 9-4 to hold third place in the Southland. The 'Jacks are 10-3 at home, with two of the three losses coming in league play (UTSA and UT Arlington). Last time out, SFA topped Lamar by 10, 62-52, behind Antonio Bostic's 20 points.
Jereal Scott leads the Lumberjack offense with 12.9 points to go along with his 5.5 rebounds, while Bostic has also averaged in double figures with 11.3 points per game. SFA has eight players averaging at least four points and five averaging at least 3.8 rebounds.
LAST TIME OUT
UTSA rallied late to force overtime, then outscored the A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team 9-5 in the extra session to emerge with an 86-82 victory on Wednesday at the American Bank Center. Five Islanders finished in double figures, led by Terence Jones' 26, in a losing effort.
In addition to Jones' 26, Nate Maxey (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Johnathan Jordan (12 points, 10 assists) each posted their first career double-doubles in the loss. Chris Hawkins-Mast (12 points) and Myron Dempsey (10) each finished in double figures as well. Jones had a career-high seven three pointers for the Islanders.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi brings a 3-8 all-time record against Stephen F. Austin into Saturday's game. The Islanders hold a 2-2 record in Nacogdoches against SFA, including a one-point win last year. Since knocking off SFA twice in 2006-07, A&M - Corpus Christi is 1-8 against the 'Jacks.
In the first matchup this year, Antonio Bostic led an efficient Stephen F. Austin offense with 18 points, and the Lumberjacks came away with a 64-49 victory over the Islanders. Terence Jones carried the load offensively for the team, scoring 20 points.
The Islanders placed five players in double figures against UTSA on Wednesday, the first time the team has done that since March 2 of last year. Terence Jones (26) led the way, but all five starters had 10-plus points in a losing effort. Each of the five converted at least four field goals as well, with the Islanders posting 70 of their 82 points from their starters. The Islanders have topped 70 points as a team just two other times.
ON THE OTHER HAND
Perhaps the more interesting thing about the Islanders placing five in double figures is what happened the previous game. At Central Michigan, the Islanders didn't have a single player get into double figures (Terence Jones led the team with nine) but A&M - Corpus Christi won the game. It was the first time in program history that the team won without having a player score 10 points.
The bigger factor in wins and losses has been the number of points allowed for the Islanders. When holding the opposition to 55 points or fewer, the Islanders are 4-1. In games where the opposition has scored at least 56, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 1-20. The lone win was a 74-68 victory over Texas State on Jan. 25.
Terence Jones etched his name in the record book at Savannah State, as he moved into 10th place on the Islanders all-time scoring list. He now has 854 career points after leading the team with 26 points, including a career-high seven threes, against UTSA.
He netted a career-high 33 points against Texas State on 9-of-18 shooting and 13-of-14 from the line. The 33 points were the most by an Islander since Kevin Palmer's 35 against UTA on March 12, 2009.
He added 20 points on 9-of-18 shooting at Stephen F. Austin and 21 at Northwestern State, going 5-of-7 from the outside, for his fourth 20-point outing of the season and the fifth of his career. He is fifth overall in scoring (14.3) in the Southland.
Jones has 143 career threes, putting him third in Islanders lore.
MAKING A POINT
Freshman Johnathan Jordan has shown tremendous poise for a player in his first year of college basketball, leading the Islanders offense from the point.
The Houston native currently sits atop the Southland with 4.7 assists per game after tallying a career-best 10 assists against UTSA on Wednesday. He had his first career double-double in the contest, delivering 12 points along with his 10 dimes.
Among frosh, he is currently 10th nationally with that assist-per-game average, just behind Michigan's Trey Burke and Kentucky's Marquis Teague. He is 86th overall in the nation in assists per game.
He is also making his way up the Islanders' single-season list, as his 126 assists place him third in school history. He is just six assists shy of the record of 132, set by Brian Evans in the 2002-03 season.
Jordan isn't the only Islander freshman making an assault on the record book. San Diego's Nate Maxey is within range of toppling the school record in blocked shots, as he is currently fourth on the single-season list and just seven away from matching Chris Daniels' single-season record of 53. The big man is currently on pace for 51 swats this year.
Maxey had just one block against UTSA on Wednesday, but it was probably his best overall performance of the year. He was a monster on both ends of the floor, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action.
While his 6-foot-11 frame is impressive enough, Maxey's ridiculous arm length is what sets him apart. The freshman has a 7-foot-9 wingspan.