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58 victory over 'Los Islanders' Corpus Christi Caller

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58 victory over 'Los Islanders' Corpus Christi Caller

As A Christi's men altered the name on their jerseys from Islanders to Los Islanders as part of a partnership with the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, it did little to alter the course of the season. Mike James sparked a 134 run to close the first half as Lamar cruised to a 7458 Southland Conferenceopening victory at the American Bank Center.

It was another loss for the rebuilding Islanders (112, 01), who extended their programworst losing streak to 10 games, having not won since a Nov. 22 overtime victory against Utah State.

"We knew that November and December would be incredibly challenging, and we had to find a way to keep our head above water," A Christi firstyear coach Willis Wilson said. "Give (coach) Pat Knight and Lamar credit. They positioned themselves to be the favorite in the league by winning nonconference games. So they're where they should be and playing with a lot of confidence.

"The other token is we haven't won games. We're not playing with a great deal of confidence. The confidence is going to have to come from what we do every day in practice. We have to come with a spirit that we understand that what we do in practice will impact what we do on gameday. Otherwise, we don't have a lot that we can hang on our hat on."

The causes were the same as in Islanders' past losses. Poor shooting. Poor freethrow shooting. Poor 3point shooting.

Of course, James didn't help either. One of six seniors on the Cardinals' roster, the 6foot1 guard went off for a seasonhigh 31 points and gave Lamar a jolt at the end of a tight first half in which the teams were tied eight times.

With 2 minutes, 45 seconds left in the opening half and the Cardinals (105, 10) clinging to a 2625 lead, James knocked down Lamar's first 3pointer of the contest. He hit another 40 seconds later, and the Cardinals ran out to a 10point halftime lead.

"It was back and forth, but Mike James is a kid we've watched a lot on film and know he is a rhythm guy," Wilson said. "You can't let him get going. He plays with such a nice pace and rhythm that he can keep a single defender off balance. We didn't handle our assignments well."

Up to that point, Lamar had missed all four 3pointers attempted. After James took aim, the Cardinals hit eight of Kids Anthony Davis Jersey its next 11 from long range.

"We had a couple of starters who didn't really show up. He got us into a groove and kickstarted us at the end of the first half," said Knight, the Southland's other firstyear coach. "It was hanging up, a onepoint lead either way, and we were substituting guys just trying to get five guys to play with some energy. Without Mike, we would have been in trouble."

The lead remained in double figures for most of the game except for a 70 A Christi run inspired by Nate Maxey that cut the Lamar lead to 4639 with 12:41 left.

But the Islanders' offense sputtered the rest of the way as the Cardinals found their range from the 3point arc. A Christi, which entered the week ranked 332nd out of 338 Division I teams in freethrow shooting and fieldgoal percentage, at 36.8 percent and 58.8 percent respectively, reverted to form.

The Islanders closed the game 8 of 19 from the line after hitting nine of 10 free throws to start the game. The team shot 40 percent from the field and knocked down only one 3pointer in 10 attempts, going 2 of 19 from long range over the past two games.

"We didn't respond to adversity in a positive way," Wilson said. "At some point, you have to dig your heels in and get to your man and keep him off balance and grind and compete. We've had too many stretches of the game where we're not doing that.

"We've got good enough talent that we can be competitive in this league, but if we don't display it on the floor on gameday, then we're not going to get the job done."

LU (105, 10): Miles 28 48 9, Lamb 36 35 9, James 1216 34 31, Harper 37 22 8, Brown 13 02 2, Lynch 04 00 0, Davis 410 00 11, Minor 11 00 2, Nelson 00 22 2, Ebomwonyi 01 00 0, Norman 01 00 0. Totals: 2657 1423 74.

A (112, 01): HawkinsMast 511 56 15, Dempsey 311 36 9, Smith 01 00 0, Jones 39 22 9, Jordan 38 713 13, Ali 12 00 2, Kocher 02 00 0, PopeDidier 11 00 2, Maxey 44 00 8, Wang 01 00 0, Dvorak 00 02 0. Totals: 2050 1729 58.

Half LU 3929. 3point goals LU 815 (Miles 13, Lamb 01, James 45, Lynch 01, Davis 35). A 110 (HawkinsMast 02, Jones 15, Jordan 01, Ali 01, Kocher 01). Fouled out Maxey. Rebounds LU 35 (Brown 7), A 39 (Dempsey 10). Assists LU 8 (Lynch 3), A 9 (Jordan 3). Total fouls LU 21, A 16. Technicals None. A 1,078.

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