Defense Dominates as Islanders Top Bearkats on Homecoming

Defense Dominates as Islanders Top Bearkats on Homecoming

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team held Sam Houston State scoreless for the final three minutes and defeated the Bearkats 51-48 in front of a season high 3,713 fans Saturday at the American Bank Center.

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The Islanders (17-5, 8-2), who came in forcing 16.6 turnovers per game, caused Sam Houston State to turn the ball over 21 times Saturday, which led to 21 points for the Blue and Green.  The Bearkats, on the other hand, were only able to score eight points off of A&M-Corpus Christi's 15 turnovers.

Down the stretch, the Islander defense was as stout as ever.  It prompted Sam Houston State to commit two shot clock violations in the final six minutes of the game and held the Bearkats without a point for the final 3:04.

"Anytime we play Sam Houston it is such a struggle," Head Coach Willis Wilson said. "I think both teams did an amazing job defensively. It was hard to buy a shot from the outside tonight. Both teams were tenacious on the glass. Late in the game I thought our defense was really, really strong."

Trailing 48-47, the senior Bryce Douvier hit a pair of free throws with 2:09 left to give the Islanders the lead, and after Rashawn Thomas picked up his fifth foul, his teammates continued to pick up the slack.

A&M-Corpus Christi got a stop on their next defensive possession, before Hameed Ali found Jelani Currie for the finish down low that put the Islanders up 51-48 with just 32 ticks left on the clock.

The Bearkats (12-12, 7-4) were unable to score on their final two possessions of the game and the Islanders came away with the three-point victory.

• The Islanders held Sam Houston State to 35.8 percent shooting for the game and 33.3 percent in the second half.
• A&M-Corpus Christi finished with 12 steals and five blocked shots.
• Bearkats not named Dakarai Henderson – who went 4-of-8 from long range – were just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc.

• Bryce Douvier led the Islanders with 10 points and eight rebounds.
• No other player scored in double figures.
• It marks the ninth double digit scoring game for Douvier this season and the fifth time leading the Islanders in scoring.

• Rashawn Thomas finished with nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Joe Kilgore scored eight points, all in the first half.
• Jelani Currie recorded a game high and career high four steals in the victory.
• Saturday marked the Islanders' 100th win at the American Bank Center.

A&M-Corpus Christi will have one day off before returning to the American Bank Center to host Houston Baptist.  The Huskies are also 8-2 in league play.  The two teams square off Monday at 8 p.m. on the American Sports Network.

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