SportsKRIS 6 Sports


Islanders win first NCAA tournament game in school history

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi defeats Southeast Missourri St. 75-71
Posted at 10:09 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 00:40:41-04

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (24-10, 14-4 SLC) made program history Tuesday, defeating the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 75-71 Dayton, Ohio. The Islanders won their first NCAA DI tournament in their third ever appearance.

"It means everything. This being my last year, coming here, just talking to Coach Lutz during the recruiting process, he said if you come here, you're going to get a chance to win," Ross Williams said. "Being able to do this with my brothers, it means the world, and unfortunately we lost Terrion (Murdix), but being able to use that as a motivational factor and to turn around and do this for him and for him to be here with us, it means the world."

Second-year TAMU-CC head coach Steve Lutz and his team bounced back from after losing their 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter. The Islanders were ahead for over 38 minutes in the game, then the Redhawks (19-17, 10-8 OVC) surged back to tie it with 3:07 to go.

"We played Arizona, we played Mississippi State at Mississippi State, and both those games there were times during the game, especially in the first half, where we were leading the game," said Lutz. "Our guys are battle tested. They're not scared of the moment. You've got to go play. You've got to embrace it."

KRIS 6 attended the watch party at Brewster Street Icehouse - Southside location where the fans showed up to show their support.

"4 o'clock I was here to reserve the table and you know what? It paid off! We're so incredibly proud of our boys." Peggy Lara, Former TAMU-CC President of the Alumni Association. "They did everything that we asked them to do, and our community is supporting them 100 percent. You can see that by all of the people that here tonight. We love our Islanders! Shakas up!"

Up next, the 16-seed Islanders will play the 1-seed Alabama Crimson Tide in Birmingham on Thursday at 1:45 p.m. on our sister station KZTV (CBS).

"It's a surreal moment. We were in this position last year, but we were on the other side," Jalen Jackson said. "We had a great group of guys come back. We lost three players last year, but we had a good group of guys come back. And we all set out to make history, first by winning conference, then winning the conference tournament, and winning some games in the March Madness tournament. To be in this moment right now, it's amazing."