CORPUS CHRISTI – Donley Minor hit a trio of three-pointers and scored 11 of his 16 points in the final two minutes of the game to spearhead a game-ending 23-6 run for Lamar, as the Cardinals took a 67-63 victory over the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team on Thursday at the American Bank Center.
Stan Brown added a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds, while Rhon Mitchell had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Joy Williamson led the way with 12 points for the Islanders, as six different players had at least six points in the loss. Zane Knowles added nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while Johnathan Jordan had eight assists in a losing effort.
The Cardinals got out to a quick start, opening up a 10-4 lead on the strength of three free throws by Mitchell and a triple by Minor. But the Islanders bounced back with seven straight points, five by Williamson, to regain the lead at 11-10. From that point forward, it was a back-and-forth battle, with five ties in the remainder of the half.
The Islanders pulled ahead 26-21 on a three-point play by Knowles, but Lamar erased that with a three-point play of its own and a jumper by Minor to tie it up. A Will Nelson three-ball gave the Islanders a three-point lead at 29-26, and after two Stan Brown free throws, the Islanders got a tip-in by Knowles to head to the locker room up 31-28.
Knowles matched his career highs in rebounds (8) and blocks (3) by halftime, and was 3-for-5 from the field in the opening stanza. Eight different Islanders hit field goals in the opening half, as the home squad was 12-for-29 from the field.
After Lamar got the first bucket of the half, the Islanders struck back with five quick points – two on a Nelson jumper and three on a James King three from the right corner. From there, the lead bounced between four and six points for the next six minutes, before a Cole Martinez three at the 11:52 mark put the Islanders up seven. That started a 7-2 run that gave the Islanders a nine-point lead.
From there, the Islanders continued to build on their lead, pushing it to 13 after a three-point play and then a fast-break layup, both courtesy Williamson. But that's when Lamar went on its decisive run, holding the Islanders to 3-for-10 shooting the rest of the way. The Cardinals hit five of their last six shots to come away with the victory. Minor was 2-for-9 from the field before his final three triples over the final two minutes.
The Islanders return to action on Saturday night for Homecoming, as they play host to McNeese State for a 7 p.m. contest at the American Bank Center. Tickets are available by calling 825-BALL (2255) or visiting GoIslanders.com.