Win over Islanders ties Kats for first

On Saturday night, the Bearkats put on a clinic of defensive basketball as they shut down the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Islanders in a Southland Conference showdown at Johnson Coliseum.

The Islanders (11-10, 5-1), who are just two years removed from an NCAA tournament appearance, seemed shocked and confused as the Bearkat defense overwhelmed them.

The Bearkats (11-8, 5-1) only trailed in the beginning of the game by a score of 0-2. After that, the three-point range got hot, and they never trailed again.

The Kats went 12-26 from three-point range, a staggering 46 percent.

The only area of concern in the first half came on the issue of rebounding, as the Islanders grabbed 10 boards to the Kats’ six. But second-half adjustments took care of that as the Bearkats blocked out, and once again held Corpus in check.

As the first half ended, the Kats took a 33-26 lead into the break.

However, the game wasn’t easy flowing from there. The Kats turned the ball over on two consecutive drives before regaining their feet.

As the two teams traded baskets, the Kats’ defense stepped up their game and the Kats went on a 13-4 run to go up 57-39 with less than five minutes remaining.

With the game clearly sealed, Marlin coached with ease as the Kats gave the Islanders a 72-51 beat down, and their first lost in Southland Conference play. The win moves the Kats into a tie for first place in the West Division of the SLC with TAMU-CC.

Their next game is at the University of Texas-San Antonio, where the Bearkats will try to take sole possession of first place in the conference.

In further game stats, the Bearkats out-rebounded the Islanders with 35 compared to A&M’s 32. Sam Houston’s Barkley Faulkner led the team in rebounds with ten. As for fouls, the Islanders had a total of 17, while Sam Houston State had 16.

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