NATCHITOCHES, La. – James Hulbin led all scorers with 17 points as Northwestern State rallied late to pull away in a 66-51 win over the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team on Thursday at Prather Coliseum. Will Nelson had 14 points in a losing effort for the Islanders.
The Demons also got 15 points from Shamir Davis in the victory, and won the battle of the boards 38-29. The home squad shot 47.1 percent (24-for-51) from the field, while the Islanders struggled in their shooting, hitting 20-of-54 (37.0 percent) on the night.
The Islanders started cold from the field, as an 0-for-7 opening gave the Demons an early 7-0 lead at the 16:30 mark. But A&M – Corpus Christi came right back with an 8-0 rally of its own, with Nelson drilling a pair of threes and Zane Knowles getting the other two points on a goaltend to make it 8-7. From there, the two teams traded blows, with threes by Nelson and Jelani Currie giving the Islanders a 14-13 advantage.
The Demons then delivered a critical run, outscoring the Islanders 15-3 over the next 9:00 to build a 29-17 lead. Davis was the principal architect, scoring eight points during the rally, many on drives to the rim. The Islanders snapped the run on a dunk by Nate Maxey, and that started a 6-3 edge for the visitors over the final 3:10 to head to the locker room down 32-23.
Northwestern State came out of the locker room with a 10-4 run to stretch its lead to 15. Jalan West had a big layup and a three during the rally that pushed the lead to 42-27 after a Hulbin triple at the 15:56 mark. After a baby hook by Knowles, the Demons advanced it to 44-29 on a pair of free throws.
The Islanders then embarked on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to just six. Four different players scored during the rally, the most critical bucket a three for Brandon Pye. Pye had another look from the corner at the 10-minute mark, but it rattled out, and the Demons regained the momentum, using an 8-1 run to regain a 13-point lead. From there, the home squad had an answer for every Islanders score, carrying the double-digit advantage all the way to the locker room.
The Islanders will close out the 2012-13 season on Saturday night in Nacogdoches, Texas, when they take on Stephen F. Austin. Tipoff between A&M – Corpus Christi and the Lumberjacks is set for approximately 6:30 p.m. at Johnson Coliseum. Yannis Koutroupis will have the call live on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX and the latest updates will be posted on Twitter (@IslandersMBB).