Free throws lift Texas A&M-Corpus Christi over SEMO, into Alabama matchup


Jalen Jackson scored 22 points and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi withstood a late rally from Southeast Missouri State, advancing with a 75-71 win in a First Four contest in Dayton, Ohio Tuesday night.

The No. 16 Islanders (24-10) move on to play the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, Alabama, in the South Region Thursday in Birmingham, Ala.

Chris Harris had a game-high 23 points while Phillip Russell added 15 points and 10 assists for SEMO (19-17). Harris was one of three Redhawks to foul out in a game marred by fouls.

Jackson made two free throws with 13.9 seconds left for a 74-71 lead and the Islanders opted not to foul as Russell worked to get free for a shot. His step-back 3 to tie the game was short, allowing A&M CC to hang on.

The Islanders made 27 of 35 free throws, while SEMO was 9 of 20. Jackson alone made 14 free throws for A&M-CC.

In their first game since losing star senior guard Terrion Murdix to a left knee injury in the Southland championship game, the Islanders overcame an off night from their leading scorer. Trevian Tennyson, who was averaging a team-leading 15.7 points coming in, was held to just two points in the first half before finishing with 12.

The A&M CC win avenges a disappointing loss on the same court in 2022, when Texas Southern rallied and advanced from the First Four.

Jackson converted a layup before Harris answered with a pair of free throws with 3:07 remaining to tie the game, 64-all.

Jackson made two free throws with 2:48 left to put A&M-CC back ahead for good. With Harris out of the game, Russell had a pair of baskets to keep SEMO close.

–Field Level Media

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