UNO’s defense was sharp to start the game picking up three of its nine first half steals steals Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s first five possessions.
The Privateers however were slow to starting on offense until Lamont Berzat came off the bench to score seven straight points to spark an 11-0 run for UNO building a 14-3 in process.
Berzat hit his first two shots, a mid-range jumper and a 3, then hit a layup with about 11:30 to play in the first half.
Texas A&M Corpus-Christi’s Sean Rhea finally broke the scoring drought with a dunk off an inbounds pass from Tre Gray. The Islanders would go on a run of their own following the score when Elijah Schmidt quickly followed it up with a layup. A Joseph Kilgore jumpshot closed the gap to 14-9
Then a Schmidt dunk pulled closed the gap even further pulling the Islanders within 3 with just under eight minutes to play.
Travin Thibodeaux hit a pair of free throws to break the Texas A&M Corpus-Christi run. However with just over two to play, Gray pulled the Islanders within two (18-16).
A pair of Michael Zeno free throws pushed the lead back up to four with about 1:30 to play and Thibodeaux stretched the lead to six with a jumper giving UNO a 22-16 lead at the half.
Texas A&M corpus christi took its first lead on the game, 25-24, with under 17 minutes to play on a 3 by Kareem South. But the Privateers regained the lead on the ensuing possession when Matthew Giles hit a three pointer of his own, 27-25.
From there the Islanders went on a 7-0 run to take a 32-27 lead before Scott Plaisance, who missed most of the first half with foul trouble, sank a floater in the lane. Berzat then drained a corner 3 to even the score at 32 all.
The teams would trade leads again before five straight points from Thibodeaux put UNO up 43-41 with 6:41 to play. A Makur Puou free throw pushed the lead to three Puou found himself at the line again and split the free throws but Michael Zeno was fouled on the putback attempt. Zeno hit both shots giving UNO a 47-41 lead with 5:42 to play.
UNO fought to hold off that lead with Thibodeaux contributing the next four points for the Privateers before Ezekiel Charles hit a pair of free throws to push the UNO lead to 4.
The Islanders however wouldn’t go away never letting the lead get past two possessions. Schmidt then split a pair of free throws with a minute to play to pull the Texas A&M Corpus Christi within one.
On the ensuing possession Berzat found Zeno for a wide open dunk and a 57-54 lead with 32 seconds to play.
South’s three-point attempt missed but Sean Rhea’s was fouled on the putback attempt. Rhea split the free throws and Thibodeaux was fouled on the rebound sending him to the line with seven seconds to play.
Thibodeaux hit both free throws stretching the UNO lead to 59-55. Berzat would go to the line once more and hit both free throws with .4 seconds to play giving the Privateers a 61-55 victory.