BEAUMONT, Texas – Johnathan Jordan scored 15 points and matched the school record with 11 assists in leading the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team to a 62-56 victory over Lamar on Saturday at the Montagne Center. Will Nelson added 13 points and nine rebounds, while Hameed Ali added 10 points in the win.
Lamar saw three players finish in double figures, with Donley Minor (13), Stan Brown (12) and Donnell Minton (12) topping the 10-point barrier. The Cardinals won the battle of the boards, 33-29, snaring 13 boards on the offensive glass.
Jordan matched Sennai Atsbeha (vs. North Texas, 12/2/00) and Taurean Mitchell (Stephen F. Austin, 1/31/07) with his 11 assists being the most in Islanders lore. The Islanders had 10 steals and committed just 10 turnovers, the fifth time this season that the team has been at 10 or fewer.
The Islanders started hot from the floor for the second consecutive game, opening the contest 8-for-15 to build an early 17-8 lead. Nelson had six of the points, while Nate Maxey added four early points on an alley-oop finish and a nice turnaround jumper and Joy Williamson knocked down a pair of shots from just inside the arc. Meanwhile the Islanders defense held the Cardinals to 3-of-12 shooting over the game's first 12 minutes.
The Cardinals responded with back-to-back baskets to trim the deficit to 17-12, but the Islanders used a 7-0 run to put the lead back to double digits at 24-12. Lamar was able to battle back on several occasions, countering a pair of triples from Ali to have the deficit at nine points in the final minute of the half. But the Islanders got the last shot and made the most of it, as Dale Francis buried a long two to make it 31-20 heading to the break.
Out of the half, the Cardinals came out on fire, hitting four of their first five shots for a 9-0 run to trim the lead to just two at 31-29. After the teams traded points, the Islanders went on a run of their own – rallying for 11 straight points to get the lead to a game-high 13 at 44-31, as the Cardinals came up empty on five straight shots.
Over the next several minutes, the two teams went through a number of back-and-forth runs, with the Cardinals able to cut into the lead. Lamar at one point knocked down 7-of-8 shots, getting the deficit to just four at 55-51. A layup by Jordan got the lead back to six, but Lamar responded with three straight points, and suddenly it was a one-possession game at 57-54 with 1:26 to play.
The Cardinals were able to get a defensive rebound to give them the ball down three in the closing minute, but Minor missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and Nelson came away with a huge defensive rebound. From there, Jordan took care of the Islanders business at the free-throw line, converting 5-of-6 shots at the stripe in the final 30 seconds to close out the victory.
The Islanders will return to the American Bank Center on Thursday, Jan. 17, as they take on Southland Conference newcomer Oral Roberts. The doubleheader will start with the women's game at 5 p.m., and the men's contest expected to start at approximately 7:30. Yannis Koutroupis will have the call of the men's game on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX starting at approximately 7:15 with the pregame show.
Thursday night's contest will feature the Food and Fun, 4 for $44 deal, as fans will receive 4 hot dogs, 4 drinks, and 4 tickets for just $44. Additional food and ticket packages are $11 each. Your ticket will get you into both games of the doubleheader. To order tickets, click HERE, call 825-BALL, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders must be placed no later than noon on Tuesday, Jan. 15.