Hitting 61-percent from the floor, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi left the McDermott Center with a win for the first time as the Islanders crushed the Cardinals in the second half for a 97-81 victory Wednesday night.
Rashawn Thomas led the onslaught for the Islanders (15-9, 8-5) with 32 points on an impeccable 14-of-19 from the floor. The senior had a field day from all over the court, throwing down emphatic dunks, knocking down mid-range jumpers with ease and even dropping a three-pointer for good measure.
Thomas was not the only Islanders feeling it Wednesday night as three other Islanders scored in double figures. Ehab Amin narrowly missed his fourth double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds while Joseph Kilgore poured in 14 and Cole Martinez added 10 for the Blue and Green.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening 20 minutes feature plenty of scoring as both the Islanders and Cardinals (10-15, 5-9) shot over 50-percent. San Antonio native Cole Martinez put on a show for the Islanders, hitting 4-of-5 from the floor including a pair of threes in the first half. He scored all 10 of his points in the opening stanza.
Still, the closing seconds saw the tide change as Tyler Singleton caught Rashawn Thomas with a pump fake, drawing the third foul of the game on the Islander big with 0.6 seconds before the break. Singleton hit all three free throws to give the Cardinals a 45-44 lead at the break.
The third foul did little to slow Thomas. The forward missed just two shots in the second half and pummeled the Cardinals with 24 points in 17 minutes.
Kilgore added 10 of his 14 points in the back half of the game as well while the Islanders dominated the glass by a 23-7 margin in the second half. The Blue and Green finished with a plus-20 margin on the boards, the highest margin on the glass since 2014.
The Islanders finished the game 40-of-66 to shoot .606 from the field. It marks the first time the Islanders have shot better than 60-percent since 2014.
Even more impressive, the Blue and Green went 22-of-33 in the second half to fire a blistering .667. It lead to 53 points as the Islanders outscored the Cardinals by 17 in the half.
The Islanders hit 7-of-9 beyond the arc to finish .778 on three-point attempts. The percentage marks the first time an A&M-Corpus Christi squad has ever shot better than 70-percent from downtown.
Martinez and Amin led the rainstorm from three-point range hitting two apiece while Thomas, Kilgore and South all went 1-for-1.
HEADED FOR HOMECOMING
The Islanders return to action Saturday night as part of homecoming festivities. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. with a pregame tailgate set for 4 p.m.