CORPUS CHRISTI – Hameed Ali led four players in double figures with 17 points, as the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team downed Texas-Pan American 72-61 on Sunday at the American Bank Center. The Islanders (3-2) finished the Holiday Inn Downtown Marina Islanders Basketball Tournament with a 2-1 record.
Ali hit back-to-back threes to start the second half, part of a 21-6 run around the break that pushed the Islanders to a 24-point advantage. The junior was just one point off his career high, and added four assists and four rebounds while going 6-for-10 from the field.
Zane Knowles added his second double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and snaring 12 rebounds in the win. Jeff Beverly had another strong game with 12 points and two blocks, while Cole Martinez knocked down three triples and scored 11 points in 18 minutes. John Jordan had a strong all-around game for the Islanders with seven points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals.
Javorn Farrell led the way for UT-Pan American (2-4) in the loss, scoring 19 points for the Broncs. Shaquille Hines added 13 points and seven rebounds as well.
After Shaquille Boga hit the first shot of the game for the Broncs, a three pointer, the Islanders embarked on a 15-2 run that was orchestrated in principal by Knowles and Beverly. The duo scored 12 of the 15 points in the Islanders' rally, with the other three coming on a shot from beyond the arc by Jake Kocher at 13:17. Knowles' jumper in the paint pushed the advantage to double digits, 15-5. During the stretch, UTPA went just 1-for-12 from the field.
Hurley Johnson broke the cold snap with a triple from the left wing, but the Islanders came right back with six straight points. Layups by Beverly and Jordan were followed by a fast-break layup for Cole Martinez that came on a brilliant, no-look feed from Jordan to make it 21-8. The Islanders would push the lead to as much as 15, 28-13, at the 6:39 mark on a Knowles layup.
But after trimming the lead to 13, UTPA went on a 6-0 run to get the lead down to 32-25. Beverly came up with a big layup inside in the final minute, making it a nine-point advantage heading to the break. Beverly's basket was the start of the decisive 21-6 run.
The Islanders stormed back out of the locker room, with Ali the architect. The junior knocked down a pair of threes right out of the gate, and Joy Williamson added a free throw to make it a 7-0 run.
But A&M-Corpus Christi wasn't satisfied, keeping its foot on the gas to push the advantage to a game-high 24 after a Martinez three-pointer at the 11:42 mark. The two teams traded baskets to make it 57-33 with 10:50 remaining.
That's when UTPA came up with its biggest rally of the game, putting together a 15-1 run to cut the deficit to just 10, 58-48, on a Shaquille Hines three-ball. But the Islanders were able to weather the storm, sinking 10 free throws in the final five minutes to ice an 11-point victory.
The Islanders finished the Holiday Inn Downtown Marina Islanders Basketball Tournament with a 2-1 record, as did IPFW. UTPA and Tennessee Tech each went 1-2 at the event. Joining Jordan and Ali on the All-Tournament Team were Farrell (UTPA), Dwan Caldwell (TTU) and Luis Jacobo (IPFW).
A&M-Corpus Christi is back in action on Wednesday night, as Rice visits the American Bank Center for a 7 p.m. contest. Tickets are available by calling 825-BALL (2255) or by visiting GoIslanders.com. For all the latest on Islanders Basketball, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersMBB) and like the team's official Facebook page (Islanders Mens Basketball).