CORPUS CHRISTI – Six players scored in double figures and the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team had its most points since 2007 in a 101-87 victory over Northwestern State on Thursday in the American Bank Center. The Islanders (6-10, 3-0 Southland) continued their perfect start to the conference season.
John Jordan led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds for the home squad, while Brandon Pye kept his hot hand alive with 15 points and four assists. Joy Williamson had an efficient game, going 5-for-5 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line for 14 points in 14 minutes.
Jeff Beverly (13), Hameed Ali (12) and Rashawn Thomas (10) all finished in double digits as well for the Islanders. It marked the first time the team had six players in double figures since Nov. 16, 2006, against Texas College.
Zeke Woodley scored 27 points for the Demons (5-9, 1-2) on 10-of-11 shooting. Jalan West added 17 points and nine assists, while Brison White (16) and DeQuan Hicks (14) eclipsed 10 as well.
In a rapid-fire first half, the Demons came out blazing, getting two quick baskets in transition to kickstart a game-opening 15-6 run that culminated in a Woodley layup at the 15:55 mark. But the Islanders defense bounced back, clamping down to spark a 10-4 run to cut the deficit to three, 19-16, on a Pye three at the 14:18 mark.
Brison White snapped the run with a three, but the Islanders embarked on another rally, this one a 13-2 run that put them ahead by five. Joy Williamson capped off that run with a three-point play at the 9:17 mark, as he had seven of the Islanders' 13 points in the rally.
From there, both offenses settled down, with the Islanders holding a 34-30 lead with 4:49 to play. A&M-Corpus Christi rallied once again, putting up a 7-1 rally that culminated in a Rashawn Thomas layup to make it 40-31 with 3:29 remaining in the half. The Islanders pushed the lead to 50-41 with the half running down, but Northwestern State got a triple from Sabri Thompson to make it 50-44 at the break.
The Demons came out of the locker room and chipped away at the lead, as White's three-pointer got the visitors within three, 55-52, at the 17:35 mark. Then came the most pivotal run of the game for the Islanders, a 14-2 rally that pushed the game into double figures. Jake Kocher provided the finishing touches, scoring the final four points, including a layup that made it 69-54 with 12:56 remaining.
From there, the Islanders offense converted at a staggering rate. A&M-Corpus Christi scored 10 points on its next five possessions – two of those finishing with Williamson three-point plays. That, combined with defensive stops at the other end, allowed the home squad to stretch the lead to 18 when Thomas slammed home a dunk after the team broke the press.
The rest of the way, it was conversion after conversion, as the Islanders matched Northwestern State's every move. The lead fluctuated between 13 and 18 over the next six minutes, before Ali's three made it 99-80 with 2:34 remaining. When Thomas delivered a putback with 1:30 to go, the home squad had its largest lead of the game and the first triple-digit output since Feb. 8, 2007, against Nicholls.
The Islanders get right back on the hardwood on Saturday evening when they take on Stephen F. Austin at 6:30. Fans can take advantage of the Family Four Pack and get four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for the low price of just $44. Call 825-BALL to purchase your tickets.
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