Tennessee Tech (1-2) at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 6:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: American Bank Center (8,156) -- Corpus Christi, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: TTU 1-0, TXA&M-CC 2-0. Away Record: TTU 0-1, TXA&M-CC 0-1. Neutral Record: TTU 0-1, TXA&M-CC 0-0. Conference Record: TTU 0-0, TXA&M-CC 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders will attempt to ride the momentum from a thrilling Friday night victory into Saturday's matchup against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, as the Islanders Basketball Tournament continues.
TTU has gotten off to a 1-2 start to the season, which includes a heartbreaking loss to Texas-Pan American in the opening night of this event on Friday. The Golden Eagles appeared dead in the water down by 10 points with just over six minutes remaining, but they climbed back in down the stretch and tied the game with 46 seconds left on a Josiah Moore layup. Their comeback attempt fell short, however, as UTPA drained the game-winning 3-pointer in the waning seconds to take down TTU, 81-78. Ladon Carter paced the losing effort with 17 points off the bench on 8-of-10 field goal shooting, while Ty Allen (16 points), Jeremia Samarrippas (13 points, seven assists) and Matt Marseille (11 points) were also involved in the action.
After splitting its first two games, TXA&M-CC opened the weekend tournament on Friday night in fine fashion, earning a thrilling, last-second victory to take down IUPU-Fort Wayne, 72-71. In a back-and-forth contest that was nearly a one-possession ball game throughout, IPFW took a one-point lead with 59 seconds remaining, but the Islanders responded when John Jordan connected on the game-winning jumper with just four seconds left. The squad shot 50 percent from the field in the victory and was led by Jordan, who poured in a career- high 28 points. Joy Williamson (12 points, eight rebounds) and Zane Knowles (nine points, nine rebounds) both narrowly missed double-doubles, while Hameed Ali also put together a noteworthy performance with 13 points.
TTU and TXA&M-CC have never before faced each other on the hardwood.
TXA&M-CC has been a bit inconsistent early in the season, as it currently sits with a .423 field goal percentage (.293 from 3-point range) for 67.0 points per game, but the good news is that its opponents are only netting 65.3 points per game. Jordan is the unrivaled go-to scoring option, as he not only makes greater than 46 percent of his field goal attempts, but he gets to the foul line with regularity, draining 73.3 percent of his 10 attempts per game. No other Islander averages double figures, but Knowles (9.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg) has nonetheless been a force in the paint.
The Golden Eagles are averaging 71.3 points per game on 44.3 percent field goal shooting, but they have allowed their opponents to net even more (74.0 ppg). Allen has been an elite scorer with 17.3 points per game, and that number only figures to go up if he can improve upon his lackluster showing from 3-point range (5-of-18). Carter (11.0 ppg) adds a spark off the bench, Samarrippas (8.7 ppg, 4.7 apg) runs an effective point, and Dennis Ogbe (7.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg) mans the low post.
TXA&M-CC is riding high after a thrilling victory, while TTU is reeling after suffering the opposite fate, the Islanders clearly carry the momentum into this matchup, especially considering they are on their home floor. Expect Jordan to put forth another strong effort to lead the hosts to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M-CC 76, Tennessee Tech 73
11/16 10:41:55 ET