CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The third time's the charm, right?
The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders danced their way to their first NCAA Tournament win in three appearances Tuesday night after pulling out a 75-71 win against Southeast Missouri State in Dayton, Ohio.
Four Isles put up double digits, led by Jalen Jackson's 22 points. Isaac Mushila finished with a double-double, scoring 15 and pulling down 12 boards; Trey Tennyson scored 12 points and Ross Williams contributed 13 off the bench.
Chris Harris carried the Redhawks with 23, fouling out with under a minute left in the game. Fouls plagued SE Missouri State, who finish with 29 total vs. the Islanders' 18.
SE Missouri State outscored the Isles in the second half 44-42, despite taking a 33-27 lead in the first half.
Having only shot 22-57 from the field, the Islanders were carried by their 77.1 percent free-throw shooting.
Southeast Missouri State made a late run, tying the game at 64 with about three minutes left. It was the first time they would catch up with the Islanders since tying the game at 13 early in the first half.
The Islanders face No. 1 seed Alabama at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday in Birmingham. The game will be televised on CBS.
This is the farthest the Islanders have gotten in the tournament in the school's history.
The Southland Conference champs made their first March Madness appearance in 2007, losing to No. 2 seed Wisconsin 76-63.
It would be 15 years before they would make it back, falling to Texas Southern 76-67 in a 2022 First Four matchup.
This is the team's first back-to-back March Madness appearance in school history.