CORPUS CHRISTI (ISLANDERS ATHLETICS) - Islanders Invasion, the annual tip-off to the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's and women's basketball season, was yet another success Tuesday night as fans in attendance were introduced to the squads, won prizes, and witnessed good basketball in a pair of team scrimmages.
With a veteran heavy group donning blue for Head Coach Willis Wilson's squad, the fans were treated to some exciting basketball on both ends of the court. Senior Jake Kocher and junior Joseph Kilgore led the blue team to a victory with eight points apiece. Kocher also added a game high five assists in the victory.
Junior Ehab Amin chipped in with seven points, senior Cole Martinez added six and redshirt freshman Kareem South scored five for Blue. Senior Rashawn Thomas led the way with six rebounds and a blocked shot for the winning squad.
The youngsters, a talented group of six freshmen, impressed as well in front of the home fans for the first time. Local talent Colin Hale of Aransas Pass led the green team with nine points on the night.
"It's always nice to get in front of the fans," Wilson said. "Islanders Invasion is a fun event. The players get excited about it, both the men's and women's teams, and the fans get excited about it. We have a lot of potential and there's a lot of good basketball ahead of us."
Tuesday night was also the first time Head Coach Royce Chadwick was able to put his roster of eight newcomers on the court in front of a home crowd, and it was rookie point guard Dae Dae Evans leading the grey squad to victory with a team-high six points.
Dalesia Booth was also impressive for the freshman-laden grey team, pulling down a game-high six rebounds, swatting a pair of shots and chipping in a put back.
For the blue team, Maddisen Turner matched Booth's intensity on the glass with five boards and added one block. Senior Kassie Jones knocked off any rust from the offseason with a trio of jumpers from inside the arc.
Chadwick heaped praise on his team, especially the freshmen, for putting on a strong performance in their first appearance in front of a large crowd.
"We needed to put our younger players in this atmosphere," Chadwick said. "They needed to play with a great crowd in the stands. They got a little taste of what it's going to be like when the season rolls around."
In addition to pizza being delivered directly to the fans, thanks to Domino's, and an entire section winning gift certificates to TGI Fridays thanks to a hot shooting fan, a couple of lucky Islanders went home with H-E-B gift cards thanks the three-point shooting of Cole Martinez and Sydney-Anne Cottrell.
Cottrell defeated Brianna Jackson to claim the women's three-point contest championship, while Martinez outdid Ehab Amin for the men's title. It marked the fifth win in the last five years for the fifth year senior.
The 2016-17 seasons are now just around the corner as the men tip-off with an exhibition against Concordia on Nov. 5 and the women play the next day against Texas A&M International. Both games are set for 7 p.m. at the Dugan Wellness Center.
GET ON BOARD
Get on board with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Athletics now by purchasing season tickets and Flex Pack tickets for the 2016-17 basketball campaigns today. Call (361) 825-BALL or visit GoIslanders.com/tickets for more information.
ISLANDERS DIGITAL NETWORK
All Islanders home events for soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball will be broadcast live and for free on the Islanders Digital Network during the 2016-17 season. Fans can access the live video at GoIslanders.com/IDN.
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