For the first time in program history, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will play in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament after leading for all but 12 seconds in an 82-73 victory Monday night in the American Bank Center.
Rashawn Thomas put forth his usual dominant performance, barraging the Wildcats with 29 points and pulling down eight boards. For Thomas it was his 21st 20-point night of the season and his seventh in-a-row.
Ehab Amin joined Thomas in the 20-point department as the junior guard dropped in 25 on the night. Amin added seven boards and six steals.
"First thing, I thought it was a terrific college basketball game," said head coach Willis Wilson. "Weber State played their strengths and we played ours. They had a phenomenal shooting night going 14-of-25 from the arc. I thought the real difference in the game tonight for us was our defense as odd as that might seem. They shot 54% for the game, which is pretty special, but the fact that we were able to force them into 21 turnovers and get a significant differential in the shot attempts was the difference."
In a game of runs, it was Corpus Christi (22-11) who made the last move. Up 73-70 with 3:30 to play, the Islanders finished the night on a 9-3 run. Amin had five of the nine points in the closing run for the Islanders while Joseph Kilgore put the exclamation point on the win with a thunderous breakaway dunk.
While Weber State (20-14) finished the evening shooting 53-percent from the field and going 14-of-25 from beyond the arc, it was the Islanders defense that won the game. The Blue and Green forced 21 turnovers which led to 26 points on the other end. Corpus Christi also had 18 more shot attempts thanks to the Wildcat turnovers.
After building a 13-point first-half advantage, the Islanders saw the lead trimmed to just one at the break as Weber State finished the half on a 8-0 run. Zach Braxton hammered home a put back dunk at the 17:18 mark of the second half to give the Wildcats a 39-38 lead.
At 17:06, Thomas laid in one of his 12 buckets on the night to regain the lead. The Islanders never trailed again.
The bucket sparked a 9-0 run over the court a minute and 30 seconds. Weber State would close within three at the 3:30 mark on a Jerrick Harding triple, but the Wildcats would come no closer as the Islanders finished on the 9-3 run.
>> Jake Kocher returned after missing the first CIT game due to illness to put up nine points in 27 minutes.
>> Ehab Amin eclipsed a pair of milestones with his 1,000th career point and 200th career steal in the win.
>> Kareem South also had nine for the Islanders and hit a pair of threes.
>> Kilgore added eight on 4-of-6 shooting for the Blue and Green.
>> Jeremy Senglin, the nation's leader in 3-point makes, knocked down six to score 27 for Weber State.
ON TO THE QUARTERFINALS
Following the win, the Islanders advance to this weekend's CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament quarterfinals. For the latest information on the Islanders next opponent and game, stay tuned to www.GoIslanders.com.