CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball (20-10, 13-4), led by second-year head coach Steve Lutz, earned at least a share of the Southland Conference season title on Saturday. The Islanders defeated Northwestern State 83-75.
"Tonight we were better than them," Isaac Mushila, Islanders senior forward, said. "We've been working for this. Like it's been a long season, so happy. This moment like this means a lot to me."
The Islanders overcame a tough first half. Northwestern State was up 41-34 early in the second half, but after 5:05 minutes the Demons never held the lead again. TAMU-CC was up by 10 points with 24 seconds left in the game.
"Feels unbelievable. Feels just as good as it did to go to March Madness last year because we didn't get to win this last year. All the trials," Trevian Tennyson, Islanders senior guard, said. "We started off with a slow start this year, but we finally got it together. We are about to win something with a special group of guys."
TAMU-CC had not won the regular season conference title since 2006 when Ronnie Arrow was head coach of the Islanders. A&M-Corpus Christi has now won championships in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. Last year in 2022, the Islanders won the SLC Tournament.
"I'm proud. I'm happy we were able to do this. We did it for the city of Corpus," Jalen Jackson, Islanders senior guard, said. "Did it for the seniors on the team. Did it for the coaches. It's amazing."
The Islanders earned their second consecutive 20-win season. Second-year head coach Steve Lutz is the only coach in program history to reach 20 wins in his first season, let alone first two. A&M-Corpus Christi last recorded consecutive 20-win seasons in 2015-17. This year marks the seventh 20-win season in program history.
"Doing it here in front of our home crown on homecoming weekend with a lot of ex players here and alums here," Lutz said. "I mean the atmosphere here was electric."
TAMU-CC's victory clinches a top-two seed and a double bye at the SLC Tournament March 5-8 at Legacy Center in Lake Charles, LA.
Trevian Tennyson - 20
Jalen Jackson - 11
Isaac Mushila - 28
Terrion Murdix - 10
De'Lazarus Keys - 10
Ross Williams - 4
WATCH: Here's when @Islanders_MBB's @treytennyson broke the SCHOOL RECORD for 3-pointers made in a season with 93, surpassing Josh Washington's mark of 90 set in 2006-07. Tennyson was 5-of-10 from the arc. #ShakasUp #KRIS6Sports pic.twitter.com/TgKxdaTnez— Larissa Liska (@LarissaLiska) February 27, 2023
The @Islanders_MBB win at least a share of the @SouthlandSports regular season title for the the time in 17 years. 83-75 win over Northwestern State! They can win it outright on Wednesday in Commerce. #ShakasUp @KRIS6sports pic.twitter.com/3gb1gLyBuS— Larissa Liska (@LarissaLiska) February 26, 2023