CORPUS CHRISTI – Will Nelson scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his first game in a Texas A&M – Corpus Christi uniform, but cold shooting doomed the Islanders in a 68-56 loss to Incarnate Word in an exhibition on Monday night. Denzel Livingston led the Cardinals with 15 points in the win for UIW.
Nelson was joined in double figures by Johnathan Jordan (11) and Hameed Ali (10), but no other Islanders player scored more than two points as the team shot 23.3 percent from the field. Lyn'Dale Brown scored 11 points and nabbed six boards for UIW, which shot 50 percent as a team.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi started slow from the field, staking the Cardinals to an 8-2 lead early on, and the Cardinals pushed it to 12-4. A Nelson three from the top of the key trimmed the deficit to 13-8 at the 12:18 mark, but UIW refused to go away, going bucket-for-bucket to an 18-10 Incarnate Word advantage.
After the Cardinals pushed it all the way to 24-12, the Islanders struck with quick back-to-back buckets, the first a Jelani Currie tip-in and the second a jumper from Ali, to make it 24-16 and force a UIW timeout. The Cardinals kept coming, though, pushing the lead to 29-16, as the Islanders continued to struggle from the field. The Islanders used another Nelson triple in a 5-0 run to get the deficit down to eight, but UIW scored six straight to push it back to double digits at 35-21. A&M – Corpus Christi got 1-of-2 from the line from Cole Martinez just before half to head to the locker room down 35-22.
The Islanders' shooting woes continued at the outset of the second half. UIW got consecutive treys from Denzel Livingston to push the lead to a game-high 18 at 42-24. Nelson continued his solid debut in an Islanders uniform, draining a three and finishing a drive to the bucket, but the remainder of the home squad continued its cold streak from the field as the Cardinals maintained their 18-point advantage.
Jordan scored four straight points for the Islanders to cut it to 14, but UIW responded with six straight points to push the advantage to 59-37. Nelson scored the next five points of the game, but the cold offensive streak continued for the rest of the team, and UIW responded with five straight points of its own. The Islanders cut into the deficit in the closing minutes, but it was not enough, with Incarnate Word taking the 68-56 final.
The Islanders will open the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 10, with Texas Lutheran coming to the American Bank Center for a 7 p.m. tipoff. Yannis Koutroupis will have the call on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX starting with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m.