LATINA, Italy – Zane Knowles had a monster game with 30 points and 14 rebounds, but the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team was done in by tremendous shooting, as Latina Basket topped the Islanders 103-96. Latina went 16-for-30 overall from beyond the arc, using a 7-for-8 mark in the fourth to pull out the victory.
John Jordan scored 27 points with nine assists and five rebounds for the Islanders in the loss, while Rashawn Thomas posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 boards. But no other player had more than six points for the visiting team.
The Islanders went 39-for-72 (.542) overall from the field, buoyed by Knowles' 15-for-16 shooting night. But A&M-Corpus Christi was just 2-for-7 from beyond the arc, compared to Latina's .533 percentage from downtown. The Islanders outrebounded their opposition 43-21.
The two teams came out of the gate even, with the Islanders jumping out to an early 10-5 lead on the strength of three straight baskets by Knowles. But the visitors went cold and Latina caught fire, unleashing a 14-2 run to take their largest lead of the game at 19-12. The Islanders were able to stem the tide, getting a huge four-point play from Brandon Pye to end the first quarter down 25-18.
In the second quarter, Jordan and Knowles took over, combining to score 14 of the Islanders' 21 points in the frame. But for every shot A&M-Corpus Christi delivered, Latina had a counter, and held a 43-34 lead with 2:32 left. The Islanders got a three-point play from Jordan with 1:17 left, and Joy Williamson added a layup of his own to cut the deficit to just four, 43-39, at the break.
The third saw A&M-Corpus Christi erase the deficit completely in the opening minute, and from there things went back-and-forth for the remainder of the quarter. Back-to-back jumpers by Jake Kocher put the Islanders ahead 49-48 at the 7:05 mark, but thereafter, neither team led by more than three for the rest of the frame. Jordan's jumper in the closing minute put the Islanders ahead 66-65 heading to the final 10 minutes.
But Latina scored the first 11 points of the final stanza and started things on a 21-6 run to pull out to an 86-72 lead. The Islanders got the lead down to eight on several occasions, but couldn't get over the hump as Latina emerged with the win.
The Islanders will play the final game of their 10-day Italian tour on Thursday, Aug. 29, against Stella Azzura at 7 p.m. The team will then return home on Friday, Aug. 30, as they wrap up their trip overseas.
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