By Gabe Reynolds
San Marcos- The Texas State men were looking up at the Texas A&M- Corpus Christi players from the opening tip—literally. Seven foot center, Chris Daniels of the Islanders won the tip from the 6’10” Ty Gough, and the tone for the game was set. The Islanders improved their record to 5-12 (2-1 in SLC), and cruised to their first road victory of the season with an 82-69 victory at Strahan on Thursday night.
A&M- CC used their considerable size advantage to hold the Bobcats to 31.3% shooting from the field as compared to their season’s mark of 43% from the field coming into the night’s contest. The big, athletic front line of the Islanders was able to block 5 Texas State shots, and altered countless others. On the other hand, A&M- CC was shooting 39.5% before the contest, but substantially improved that number by making 56.3% of their shots from the field. The Islanders dominated the glass as well, holding a 45-31 rebounding edge over the ‘Cats.
The Bobcats fell behind early and could never mount a big enough rally to scare the visiting squad. Led by senior center Chris Daniels (15 points and 8 rebounds) and freshman forward Justin Reynolds (17 points and 9 boards), the Islanders mounted a balanced offensive attack that finished with every starter in double figures.
For the third game in a row, the Texas State team fell far behind by halftime. However, unlike the games against Nicholls or Southeastern Louisiana, the ‘Cats could not play themselves back into contention. The Bobcats pulled to within 7 points with just under 2 minutes to play thanks to a hot streak fueled by the play of Brandon Bush (19 points) and Brent Benson (17 points), but it was too little, too late for the home team.
It is hard not to respect the resolve of the Texas State team after their third straight game fighting an uphill battle for all 40 minutes. The play was sometimes sloppy (again struggling with FT shooting and missed lay-ups), but the ‘Cats never stopped hustling in front of the crowd of 3,138.
The men suit up next against UTSA on Saturday at 7:00 in San Antonio, while the women play at 2:00 at home.