CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team placed four players in double figures, but Northwestern State used an early run to build a lead it would not relinquish in an 82-71 win on Tuesday night at the American Bank Center. Nate Maxey had a career-high 15 points in a losing effort for the Islanders.
Jalan West led all scorers with 17 points, as the Northwestern State bench scored 60 of the team's 82 points. DeQuan Hicks and James Hulbin added 11 each and Gary Roberson had 10 points for the Demons. Northwestern State committed just nine turnovers, while the Islanders turned the ball over 17 times.
Along with Maxey's 15, the Islanders got 14 from Joy Williamson, 12 from Will Nelson and 11 from Johnathan Jordan in a losing effort. The Islanders shot 47.4 percent from the field (27-for-57) and won the battle of the boards 37-29.
After the Islanders got out to a 4-2 lead on buckets by Zane Knowles and Hameed Ali, the Demons used a combination of exceptional pressure and strong shooting to put together an 18-0 run and garner a 20-4 advantage at the 14:29 mark. Northwestern State hit all three of its three pointers and went 6-for-7 overall during the rally. From there, the two teams went back-and-forth with the Islanders trimming it to a 12-point deficit with 10:08 left.
But Northwestern State went on an 11-2 run to push the lead to 21 at 35-14. The Islanders countered with a 9-2 run of their own, with seven straight points coming from Maxey. The Demons, though, continued their hot shooting, and were able to counter every Islanders punch. With the deficit down to 14 at 46-32, NSU concluded the half on a 7-0 run, the final blow a three by West with just three seconds left in the half.
After heading to the break down 53-32, the Demons stretched their lead to 22 at 58-36 at the 18:00 mark. That's when the Islanders went on a 9-1 run, cutting the deficit to 14 after a Nelson dunk made it 59-45. After going back-and-forth for several possessions, the Islanders added a 6-0 run, also culminating in a Nelson dunk, to get the deficit to just 10 at 63-53.
The Demons were able to keep the lead between 10 and 14 for the next eight minutes of the game, before Ali's three pointer trimmed it to nine, making the score 77-68 with 2:16 to play. But West added another long three at the 1:42 mark and NSU was able to close out the victory.
The Islanders are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 23, when they take on Cal State Fullerton in a matchup as part of the Ramada Worldwide Bracketbusters. The game is set for a 1 p.m. start on campus at the Dugan Wellness Center. Yannis Koutroupis will have the call starting at 12:45 with the pregame show on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX. Tickets are available by calling 825-BALL (2255) or by clicking the tickets link on GoIslanders.com.