Kats travel to Corpus Christi, Islanders waving down SLC leaders

Sam Houston State men’s basketball continues to rise sky high.

Chris Winfield | The Houstonian

Chris Winfield | The Houstonian

The Bearkats will try to improve their eight-game winning streak to nine games heading to Corpus Christi on Saturday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The first time these two teams met, SHSU won 67-59 with senior guard Kaheem Ransom leading scoring with 19 points.

“They’re a good team,” Ransom said. “They have talent in the front court and back court. I know they’ll be extra aggressive and confident at home.”

The bench for the Bearkats is getting more touches and minutes following blowout wins during this win streak and could be valuable against the Islanders.

Although SHSU topped TAMU-CC in the teams’ first meeting, the Islanders have improved since and has even defeated the powerhouse squad of Stephen F. Austin State.

TAMUCC was able to get off to a good start by having a 10-point lead at halftime against the Lumberjacks where sophomore forward Rashawn Thomas had 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks to pull off the upset over SFA. Freshman guard Ehab Amin was their leading scorer with 22 points.

Islanders leading scorer senior guard John Jordan also helped them beat the top teams in the SLC this season: Incarnate Word and Northwestern State. SHSU is the only team ahead of the Islanders that they have not beat.

“We have to be locked in and have some great practices before we make our way over there,” Ransom said. “Our attack will pretty much be the same as before, which is an inside and outside balanced approach. We need to get easy baskets in transition, defend and rebound as we’ve done all year.”

Both teams are respected for being in the top three in the SLC for scoring defense.

With SHSU leading the SLC in rebounding, TAMU-CC is in the bottom half, averaging 32.3 rebounds per game. That could be the difference between the two good teams battling this weekend.

The Bearkats realize that they cannot take the Islanders lightly in a tough conference match-up with just a few games left in the season. The Islanders will look at this game as redemption from earlier this season against SHSU.

Tipoff for Saturday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.

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