Northridge Edges Men's Basketball, 67-66
CORPUS CHRISTI – John Jordan's jumper at the buzzer rimmed out, as the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team lost a back-and-forth affair to Cal State Northridge, 67-66, on Friday at the Dugan Wellness Center. Jordan had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the loss.
The Matadors (6-5) placed four players in double figures, led by Josh Greene and Stephan Hicks, who each scored 18 points. Rashawn Thomas also finished in double figures for the Islanders (3-9), scoring 10 points, while four others had at least seven points in the loss. The game featured 14 ties and 15 lead changes.
Out of the gate, the game was a fast-paced, back-and-forth affair, featuring six ties in the first 11 minutes, with the score 17-17. Northridge scored the next three points to pull ahead 20-17, but Beverly worked hard for two down low to cut it to one. After a Trevone Williams jumper, Hameed Ali buried a triple to knot the game at 22-all.
Northridge then mounted the game's first true rally, netting seven straight points – four by Hicks – to garner a 29-22 lead. But the Islanders came right back with a 9-1 run of their own to regain a 30-29 advantage. A Joy Williamson three-point play was the key moment in the rally for the home squad. After the teams traded points to a 32-32 score, the Matadors finished the stanza on a 4-1 run, the final points on an Aaron Parks putback to make it a 36-33 halftime lead for the visitors.
After the break, the back-and-forth continued, with the teams trading points to a 44-42 Northridge lead at the 15:24 mark. That's when the Islanders embarked on a 7-1 run to pull ahead 49-45, culminating with a three-point play for Thomas at the 13:21 mark.
But Northridge came back once again, putting forth an 8-0 run to regain a four-point advantage. Four different players scored during the rally, with Hicks' two free throws capping things off to make it 53-49. The Matadors extended their advantage to 56-51 at the free-throw line.
After the teams traded baskets, the Islanders netted four straight points on back-to-back layups by Thomas and Jordan to make it 58-57. But Greene came back with a big answer for Northridge, burying a three from the left side to push the lead back to four, and two Maxwell free throws extended it to six.
Jordan took over the game at that point, scoring six straight points to tie the game. The junior converted a tip-in, got a steal, posted a layup, snared a defensive rebound and hit two free throws – all in the span of 35 seconds – to make it 63-all at the 2:37 mark. A Hicks jumper put the Matadors ahead by two, but then Brandon Pye came up huge, nailing a three from the left corner to put the Islanders up 66-65 with 1:18 remaining.
The Matadors countered, with Maxwell slamming home an assist by Greene to make it 67-66. The Islanders' first offensive possession didn't convert, but they were able to get a stop, with Jordan grabbing a defensive rebound with 22 seconds left, and a timeout with 16.3 to play set up the final play.
The Islanders will have a couple days off for the holidays before heading north to face Minnesota on Saturday, Dec. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network. Yannis Koutroupis will have the call locally on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX. 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).