January 26, 2013

Lions Surge Past Men's Basketball, 67-53

HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana used a decisive rally late in the second half to topple the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team, 67-53, on Saturday at the University Center. Johnathan Jordan had career highs with 24 points and 10 rebounds for his third career double-double in the loss for the Islanders.

Will Nelson added a double-double of his own with 12 points and 10 boards for the Islanders, but no other player for the visitors had more points than Cole Martinez' six in the contest. The Islanders had just nine turnovers in the game, but forced just eight for the Lions.

The Lions got a double-double of their own from Roosevelt Johnson (18 points, 13 rebounds), while Brandon Fortenberry added 18 points for the home squad. The Lions piled up 27 points at the free-throw line and took 43 free throws to the Islanders' 22. Southeastern won the battle of the boards, 42-39.

Early on, both teams started slow from the field, as the Islanders defense held Southeastern to 0-for-5 shooting with three turnovers in opening an early 5-1 lead. The visitors pushed it to 7-3, but the Lions responded with an 11-0 run to open a seven-point lead. Onochie Ochie did much of the damage with a triple and another jumper helping to lead the way for the home squad in a 14-7 advantage.

After the two teams traded buckets, the Lions put together another strong stretch, capping off a 9-2 run with a Johnson jumper to make it 25-11. The Islanders responded with two quick baskets to get the deficit back to 10, but both offenses hit the skids at that point, and the Lions went to the locker room with a 26-16 lead.

Out of the break, the Islanders came out hot, using a 22-9 run to garner a 38-35 lead. Dale Francis got it going early in the stanza with a couple long jumpers, but the remainder of the damage was done by the trio of Jordan, Nelson and Nate Maxey. Jordan scored 11 points and had two assists during the rally, while Nelson scored four and Maxey added three.

The visitors pushed the lead to 40-36, but Southeastern responded with a 15-0 run on the strength of the offensive glass. Johnson had three big offensive rebounds and the Lions scored 11 second-chance points in the rally. Jordan snapped the run with a free throw, but the home squad continued its momentum, pushing the lead to 55-41. From there on, the Lions were able to finish things off at the foul line en route to the 14-point victory.

The Islanders now return to Corpus Christi for a stretch in which they will play seven out of nine games at home. The homestand tips off with a game against Sam Houston State on campus at the Dugan Wellness Center on Saturday, Feb. 2. Game time is set for 1 p.m. and the contest will be carried live on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX with Yannis Koutroupis on the call.