Playing shorthanded due to COVID-19 protocols (contact tracing) within the Islanders program, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi battled hard in an 84-75 defeat to Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday at the American Bank Center.
A&M-Corpus Christi (3-11, 0-5 SLC) played just eight student-athletes. Four of the five starters logged over 35 minutes.
The game moved at a fast-pace and saw SFA (11-3, 7-1 SLC) shoot .500 (33-66) from the field, while the Islanders posted a .500 (11-22) mark from three-point range.
Senior Myles Smith netted a season-high 23 points. He was 9-for-15 from the floor and 3-of-6 from long-range.
Sophomore Jalen White tallied 19 points and seven rebounds. Fellow sophomore Jordan Hairston scored 13 points and dished out a career-high seven assists.
The Lumberjacks were led by Cameron Johnson who recorded a game-high 29 points. Gavin Kensmil ended with 16 points and Calvin Solomon 12.
A&M-Corpus Christi led 10-7 early after senior Nolan Bertain drilled a three-pointer. SFA scored the next six points to lead ahead 15-10 at the 12:48 mark.
It was back-and-forth for much of the first half. The Islanders trailed 32-30 with 6:44 to go after Hairston nailed a three. It wasn't until late that SFA went on a 15-4 run to take a 47-34 advantage with 1:30 left. A&M-Corpus Christi ended the half on a 7-0 run, which included a three by Smith in the final seconds to trail 47-42 at the break.
SFA knocked down shots early in the second half to go back up 59-47 with 15:18 remaining. The Islanders got it down to 67-61 on a three by Hairston at the 11:50 mark.
After the Lumberjacks again pushed their lead up to 77-64 midway through the half, A&M-Corpus Christi didn't go away and made it an 80-73 game with 2:48 to go. The Islanders were playing catch-up the entire way and just couldn't get enough stops to break back even.
A&M-Corpus Christi will remain at home Saturday when it hosts UIW at 3:30 p.m. at the American Bank Center. It will be the third of a four-game home stand.