GAME NOTES: The second round of the CollegeInsiders.com Tournament wraps up its Saturday action with a contest featuring the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders traveling to face the Pacific Tigers at the Spanos Center.
The winner of the match will move on to the CIT quarterfinals and will face a team yet to be determined.
Texas A&M-CC advanced past Northern Colorado in the first round of the CIT with an 82-71 win. It was the first game for the Islanders since their loss to Sam Houston State in the semifinal round of the Southland Conference Tournament.
Pacific finished the regular season on a rough note, losing four of the team's last five games. The Tigers lost in the first round of the West Coast Conference Tournament, but still was able to get an invite to the CIT, where they defeated Grand Canyon in the first round, 69-67.
This game will mark the first time Texas A&M-CC and Pacific have ever met on the basketball court.
Texas A&M-CC only led Northern Colorado by a single point at the end of the first half on Wednesday night. But the Islanders came alive in the second period and outscored the Bears, 46-36, at grab the sizeable advantage which held up for the win. Rashawn Thomas paced A&M-CC with 22 points in the game, while John Jordan chipped in 16 points with six rebounds and six assists. Both Jeff Beverly and Jake Kocher scored 12 points, and Hameed Ali rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. Zane Knowles grabbed a team-high 10 boards in the win.
Jordan and Thomas are the only two A&M players to average a double-digit scoring total this season. Jordan tops the team with 14.8 ppg, having played in and started all 32 games on the year. Thomas has played in just 24 contests, and hasn't started a single one, but still brings in an 11 ppg average to the matchup with Pacific. Knowles leads the team with 7.6 rpg, and Jordan's 5.3 apg mark is another team best. The Islanders net 69.4 ppg, and give up just 67.4 points to opponents.
A Tony Gill layup with just slightly over a minute left to play in the first- round contest against Grand Canyon was all it would take for Pacific to walk away with a win. Gill's layup broke a 67-67 tie and held up for the remaining 60 seconds of play that allowed the Tigers to advance. Andrew Bock paced Pacific with 18 points in the contest, while Gill chipped in 15 points with seven rebounds, and Sama Taku scored 15 of his own with a team-high four assists.
Gill, Bock and Taku are all atop the team's scoring list entering the contest against the Islanders, and they're all within one point of each other. Gill leads the Tigers with an 11.3 ppg mark, while Bock checks in with 11.2 ppg, and Taku adds 11.1 ppg to a Pacific team netting 72.4 points per outing. Gill's 5.8 rpg average is the team's best on the year, and Bock tops the squad with a 2.9 apg margin. The Tigers are allowing opponents to score 74.4 ppg, which was the team's downfall.
This game is going to feature a defensive-minded team (A&M-CC) traveling to California to face a team built on scoring points. The homecourt advantage will help Pacific immensely, and if the Islanders can't get on the board as frequently as they'd like, they'll be in trouble.
Game Date and Time