CORPUS CHRISTI – Anthony Dees scored 24 points and Texas-Permian Basin went 23-for-27 at the free-throw line in the second half to defeat the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team on Sunday at the American Bank Center. John Jordan scored 25 points and Jeff Beverly matched a career-high with 20 in the loss.
Dees was joined in double figures by Phadarius Taylor (12), Dwayne Soders (11) and Thomas Feeney (11), while Keith Martin led the Falcons with 10 boards. Jordan added five rebounds and five assists for the home squad.
The Falcons got out to a 6-2 lead early on, but the Islanders came right back with a Beverly three and a jumper by Jordan to go ahead 7-6. From there, the teams went possession-for-possession over the next several minutes, with the Falcons holding a 16-15 lead at the 10:18 mark. A triple by Thomas Feeney pushed the UTPB lead to 19-15.
At that point, the Islanders went on a 9-0 run to gain a five-point lead. Hameed Ali was the key catalyst, making steals on consecutive possessions that both led to baskets to buoy the home squad. But UTPB caught fire from the outside, knocking down three straight threes to regain a 29-26 lead on Madison Turner's trey at the 5:29 mark.
Beverly canned a three right back to tie the score, though, and it sparked a 6-1 run that put the home squad up 33-30 on a Zane Knowles layup. From there, the teams traded points into the locker room, with Jordan's two free throws with 3.7 seconds left putting the Islanders up 37-35 at the break.
Out of the break, the Islanders pushed the lead to eight on a pair of occasions, with a Joy Williamson layup putting A&M-Corpus Christi up 49-41 at the 14:24 mark. But the visitors were unfazed, mounting an 8-1 run to trim the deficit to just one at 50-49. After a pair of free throws for Jordan, a triple for Turner tied the score at 52 apiece with 10:47 remaining.
The visitors and guests went back and forth, with two free throws from Williamson putting the Islanders up 57-56. That was followed by a 7-0 run, though, as the home squad went cold both at the line and from the field. A three-point play by Keith Martin and a jumper for Dwayne Soders were the key plays in the rally.
Foul shots became the name of the game at that juncture, with teams trading trips to the stripe for a 66-60 UTPB lead with five minutes left. For every Islanders punch, the Falcons had a counter, in particular knocking down their free throws when needed.
A&M-Corpus Christi got within three on three occasions in the final two minutes, but each time, the Falcons were able to convert to get it back to a two-possession game. A defensive rebound by Dees with nine seconds left sealed the victory for UTPB, as his two free throws with 3.7 seconds left resulted in the final score of 82-77 in favor of the visitors.
The Islanders will now be off the hardwood for nearly two weeks as they tackle final exams. The next contest will be against Cal State Northridge on Friday, Dec. 20, at the Dugan Wellness Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
For all the latest on Islanders Basketball, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersMBB) and like the team's official Facebook page (Islanders Mens Basketball).