The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Island Waves

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Island Waves

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Island Waves

Islanders Earn Seventh Straight Victory



The Islander men’s basketball team capped off Homecoming week by defeating Lamar University 70-63 to push their win streak to seven.

Right out of the gate, the Islanders came to play. The team made their first three shots, including two three-pointers, to get out to an early 10-0 lead. Five of the team’s six made threes came in the first eleven minutes of action. Ball movement was key to early shooting. The team tallied nine assists on their first ten made shots.

“Guys moving the ball around and being selfless was one of the big things we tried to key in on.” Redshirt freshman guard, Kareem South, said. “We’re looking to take the best shot available whenever that time comes.”

At halftime, the Islanders were shooting 50 percent from both the field and beyond the arc. At the same time, the defense held the Cardinals to 29 percent from the field. Leading the charge, offensively and defensively, was senior forward, Rashawn Thomas, who was the first Islander to double-figures with 13 points. Thomas also tallied four blocks by halftime. As a result, the team went into the half up 33-22.

In the second half, the Cardinals woke up. After hitting their first seven shots to start the half, the Islander lead had shrunk to just two. The Cardinals even briefly took the lead. When things looked dicey, the team went to Thomas, their steadying offensive force, and he delivered. Thomas scored 16 of his 29 points in the second half, eight of which came at the line.

“We look to him [Thomas],” South said. “When he gets it going late in the game, we just got to feed the fire.”

Thomas has taken to his closer role on the team very well this season and, according to him, it all comes down to mentality.

“When the game’s on the line, I can’t cry about anything that happened before in the game.” Thomas said. “I know the scoring trait is on my shoulders at the end of the game and I’ve got to deliver.”

Head Coach, Willis Wilson, knows Thomas’ importance to the team is more than scoring points.

“The thing about Rashawn being a closer, is that you have to pay attention to his unselfishness. He’s an incredibly willing passer out of the post.” Wilson said.

As Lamar hung around, the Islanders embraced the challenge and were rewarded with trips to the foul line. The team shot five times as many free throws in the second half (28 attempts in the second versus 6 in the first half).

“Lamar’s effort was physical, gritty, and tough.” Wilson said. “I’d like to think we responded to that. Our guys are playing with freedom and playing assertive and aggressive.”

The home victory that pushed the streak to seven in a row was in front of one of the biggest crowds of the year.

“We just wanted to put on for the Island and put on for the fans at Homecoming.” South said.

With the conference tournament on the horizon, the team looks to keep their momentum going and put themselves in the best place they can be.

“When the times gets tough, we get tougher.” Thomas said. “Now that’s what we’ve been doing during this seven-game streak and that’s what we can continue to do.”

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