Any day that San Antonio native Steve Lutz can spend with his family, he counts it as a very good day.
With his mother, Pat, and others on hand in the stands at the UTSA Convocation Center, he knew Sunday would be one of those days, no matter how his Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders played.
It was made all the more special for the Islanders’ first-year head coach when his players produced an impressive road victory, downing the UTSA Roadrunners, 77-58.
Despite starting guard Jalen Jackson playing only 11 minutes because of foul trouble, the Islanders broke out to a 40-29 lead at halftime and were never seriously threatened in what clearly was their best overall effort of the young season.
UTSA pulled to within seven twice early in the second half, but the game belonged to the visiting team, which held advantages in shooting percentage (50 to 31.9), rebounding (52-34) and points in the paint (50-26).
Jackson, a junior transfer from North Texas, scored 19 points in A&M-Corpus Christi’s two-point victory over Denver last week.
Saddled with the foul problems on Sunday, the former Wagner High School standout finished with only three against the Roadrunners.
Not to worry. A&M-Corpus Christi had more than enough firepower to storm past UTSA, sweeping all three games in a multi-team event hosted by the Roadrunners that started last week.
Forward Isaac Mushila dominated the day with 21 points and 17 rebounds. With Jackson on the bench much of the afternoon, Terrion Murdix stepped up to play 27 minutes. He hit 4 of 9 shots from the field, scored 8 points and passed for 5 assists.
“The guys are both starters,” said Lutz, a 1991 East Central High School graduate. “I believe we have six, seven, maybe even eight starters on this team, depending on the day and the situation.”
The Islanders started fast, putting two fouls on Roadrunners’ center Jacob Germany, and surged into 8-0 lead. Pretty soon, it was 14-4 and 16-6. UTSA sliced A&M-Corpus Christi’s advantage to three 10 minutes into the game.
But that is as close as the Roadrunners would get, as the Islanders kept attacking the basket and pounding the glass. After it was all over, A&M-Corpus Christi left the building having never trailed.
“We lost pretty much every facet tonight,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “Shooting, it’s easy to look at that. You can also look at a couple of other areas, it’s just as frustrating.
“We haven’t been real, real sharp yet on the offensive end. We got to figure out what our identity is going to be down there.”
Guard Jordan Ivy-Curry emerged as the lone bright spot for the Roadrunners with 21 points. The sophomore from La Marque hit 7 of 16 shots from the field, but he had precious little help from his teammates. Everyone else combined to shoot 15 of 53.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-1
Wednesday, 2 p.m. — Lamar at UTSA.