CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team opened a 35-6 lead and never looked back in a 79-45 win over Huston-Tillotson on Friday at Dugan Wellness Center. It marked the season opener for the Islanders, and was the largest margin of victory for the team since a 90-42 win on Jan. 18, 2007, against Texas State.
Zane Knowles posted a double-double with 12 points and 18 rebounds, the second-highest rebound total in school history and the most since Corey Lamkin snared 18 at Air Force on Jan. 21, 2004. John Jordan scored a game-high 21 points to go along with six assists, six rebounds and three steals in the win.
Jake Kocher had 10 points in his first contest in 20 months after missing the 2012-13 season due to injury. The redshirt sophomore added a career-high four steals. Cole Martinez also poured in a career-best 11 points in going 5-for-6 from the field.
Terry Johnson scored 20 points in a losing effort for the Rams.
A&M-Corpus Christi got off to a torrid start on both ends of the court, blazing to a 29-point lead in the first 13 minutes of the game. The Islanders scored the game's first 11 points, with five different players netting field goals in the rally. The two teams traded baskets to a 15-6 score.
But that's when the Islanders went on a 20-0 run to balloon the lead to 35-6. During the run, A&M-Corpus Christi held Huston-Tillotson to 0-for-9 from the field with five turnovers. Offensively, the Islanders went inside in the rally, pouring in 10 points in the paint, six from Knowles.
From there until the half, the Rams slowly chipped into the Islanders lead, cutting the deficit to 22 before a Kocher jumper pushed the advantage to 44-20 at the break.
The Islanders slowed coming out of the locker room, and the Rams were able to cut it to 21 on a steal-and-layup by Darion Cooks at the 14:35 mark. A&M-Corpus Christi then embarked on a 21-5 run over the next 9:12 to pull away with a 37-point lead with 5:23 left. From there the Islanders emptied their bench, and the two teams kept even, resulting in the final score.
The Islanders hit the road for their next action, a contest at Big 12 foe Iowa State on Tuesday night. The Islanders and Cyclones are set to do battle in Ames at 7 p.m. Yannis Koutroupis will have the call starting at 6:40 with the pregame on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX.
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