Dec. 30, 2006
Corpus Christi, Texas - Texas A&M Corpus Christi utilized a decided height advantage to score 40 points in the paint en route to a 71-57 win over Brown in the championship game of the Flint Hills Resources Islander Classic. Tournament MVP Cedric Smith led the Islanders with 14 points while Brown junior guard Mark McAndrew (Barrington, RI) led all scorers with 19 points.
The loss snaps a two game winning streak for the Bears, now 5-8 overall. Texas A&M Corpus Christi extended its record to 8-4.
The Islanders broke open a close game midway through the first half. Brown trailed 22-21 with 9:56 left in the half on a lay-up by McAndrew. Texas A&M Corpus Christi outscored the Bears 21-9 for the remainder, grabbing a 43-30 lead at intermission. The much-taller Islanders out-rebounded the Bears by a 17-7 margin in the half, and scored 28 points in the paint.
After falling behind by as many as 21 points in the second half, Brown clawed its way back and pulled to within nine points of the Islanders down the stretch, 65-56, with 1:07 remaining in the game on a three-point basket by junior Damon Huffman. But the Islanders put the game away with strong free throw shooting for the final margin of victory.
McAndrew's 19 points came on 7 of 13 shooting from the field. Freshman Matt Mullery also scored in double figures with 10 points and two blocked shots, while junior Damon Huffman added eight points for the Bears. Both McAndrew and Huffman were named to the All-Tournament team for Brown.
Smith connected on 6 of 9 field goals for the Islanders, while Seth Engelken netted 14 points, hitting 5 of 6 shots from the field. Scooby Johnson also provided an inside presence, scoring 8 points and grabbing a game high 10 rebounds. Engelken also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team along with Chris Daniels, who finished with 10 points.
The Bears will continue on their 12-day road trip, heading to California to battle Cal-Davis on Tuesday, January 2nd.