CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In a celebratory night at the American Bank Center, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball program defeated Trinity (TX) 91-73 on Monday.
Prior to the game, the Islanders were honored with their 2022 Southland Conference Tournament championship rings. A&M-Corpus Christi also raised both the 2022 SLC Tournament championship banner and NCAA Tournament banner in the American Bank Center.
The 2021-22 squad made its second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after winning its third conference championship and first since 2006-07. The Islanders defeated Southeastern Louisiana 73-65 in the Southland Championship game to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Against Trinity, the Islanders (2-1) were led by senior Isaac Mushila's second consecutive double-double of 26 points and 17 rebounds. The reigning Southland Conference Player of the Week winner was 8-of-12 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
A career-high came from senior Tyrese Nickelson with 15 points off the bench. Also with 15 points was graduate Ross Williams.
Senior Jalen Jackson dished out a career-high seven assists.
A&M-Corpus Christi dominated the paint where they outscored the Tigers 46-22. The Islanders also posted a 53-40 rebounding advantage.
Trinity turned in a hot shooting night and netted 15 three-pointers. Tanner Brown hit four of them and scored a team-high 18 points. Trinity finished 23-6 overall and 13-3 in conference last year. The Tigers advanced to the second round of the Division III NCAA Tournament.
Trinity scored the first eight points of the game and led 14-4 early. The Islanders answered with an 11-0 run which included five points by Nickelson to go up 15-14 at the 13:08 mark. An old fashion three-point play by Mushila extended it to 24-16 with 9:55 left.
A long range shot by Mushila pushed it out to 33-19 at the 6:34 mark. The Islanders took their biggest lead of the half 47-28 on a second chance bucket by Mushila with 1:02 remaining.
The Tigers came out hot again in the second and continued to hit threes to trim the deficit to 54-46 with 16:37 left. Though, a three by Williams and a lay-up by Mushila got it back up to 72-56 at the 10:23 mark.
A three-point play by Williams made it 84-61 with 6:24 to go. The largest lead 86-61 came on a fast break lay-up by freshman Jourdyn Grandberry with 5:33 remaining.
A&M-Corpus Christi will conclude a three-game home stand Thursday when it hosts UTRGV at 7 p.m. in the American Bank Center as part of the South Texas Showdown, presented by NavyArmy Community Credit Union. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online at goislanders.com/tickets or by phone at 361-825-BALL (2255). The ticket office can also be reached via email at email@example.com.
- A&M-Corpus Christi improved to 141-77 all-time in the American Bank Center, 213-106 all-time at home and 2-0 this year.
- The Islanders are now 3-0 all-time against Trinity (TX) but the two hadn't met since Dec. 6, 2005 in an 86-62 final. The only other meeting came on Nov. 27, 2002 when A&M-Corpus Christi won 73-49.
- Mushila was announced as the SLC Player of the Week earlier in the day. He averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds in two games against Mississippi State and UTSA.
- Mushila tallied his 15th career double-double, seventh career 20+ scoring game and seventh career 15+ rebounding performance. It was also his 26th career double-figure scoring game and 18th career double-digit rebounding affair.
- Nickelson surpassed his career-high of 10 points set last year against Southwestern. His six made field goals were also a career-best.
- Williams set his career-high in an A&M-Corpus Christi uniform at 15 points. He drilled a trio of three-pointers and was 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
- Jackson's seven assists topped his previous best of six set twice last year.