CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team opened up the 2015-16 season in fine fashion Friday night, cruising to a 94-72 home victory over visiting Our Lady of the Lake.
"Anytime you can come out with a win on opening day it's always a good thing." Head Coach Willis Wilson said after the game. "We have some young guys that need to tighten things up and learn a little more about what it takes to compete, but all-in-all I can't be disappointed."
Preseason All-Southland First Team honoree Rashawn Thomas led the Islanders with an impressive 30-point, 12-rebound, four-block outing. It was a career high scoring night for the junior, who recorded the 13th double-double as an Islander.
"Rashawn is just a really, really talented guy," Wilson said. "I've been so proud of the way he has matured and grown, especially in this last year. You can see the physical changes and you're beginning to see the emotional and mental changes out there on the floor."
Moreover, Thomas became the first Islander to score 30 points and grab 10 rebounds in a game since Michael Hicks did it way back in February of 2001. Thomas is now one of just six Islanders to score 30 points in a single game since the program started.
He even started out on fire, scoring nine of the Islanders' first 13 points. He finished off two put-backs and knocked down a three in the first five minutes, his first since he hit from beyond the arc since making three as a freshman.
Senior Brandon Pye scored seven straight points in the first half to help extend the Islanders lead to 35-19 and finished the first 20 minutes with 15 points. The senior went 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first half and finished with 17 on the night.
A&M-Corpus Christi held the Saints to 27.6 percent shooting from the floor and just 23.1 percent from three-point range in the first half. Our Lady of the Lake finished the night 40.0 percent from the field.
Friday marked the fourth straight win on opening night for the Islanders. They are now 4-1 under head coach Willis Wilson in season openers.
- Hameed Ali led the Islanders with five steals and scored nine points.
- A&M-Corpus Christi outscored the Saints 38-18 in the paint.
- The Islanders had 20 assists on 31 field goals, while OLLU had just six assists on 20 buckets.
- The Blue and Green forced 27 turnovers, but committed 26 themselves.
- Sophomore Joe Kilgore threw down another high flying dunk, was fouled and made the free throw.