ABILENE, Texas (AP) — Jaren Lewis and Payten Ricks scored 18 points apiece and Abilene Christian nearly blew a 17-point second-half lead but held off Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 78-71 on Wednesday night to beat the Islanders for the first time in 10 tries.
B.J. Maxwell scored 16 points and Jaylen Franklin dished six assists for the Wildcats (18-4, 7-2 Southland Conference), who made 12 of 24 3-pointers and scored 25 points off of 19 Inslanders' turnovers.
The Wildcats extended a 40-33 halftime lead to 17, 61-44 on Ricks' free throw, but Tony Lewis' 3-pointer sparked a 16-0 run for a 64-63 Islanders' lead with 6:08 to play. Hayden Farquhar made a go-ahead free throw and the Wildcats' pulled ahead by five before the Islanders closed to 72-71 on Lewis' jumper with 54 seconds left.
Jaren Lewis hit a jumper and the Wildcats scored four free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal it.
Tre Gray and Kareem South scored 16 apiece and Irshaad Hunte added 15 for the Islanders (9-11, 4-3), whose bench outscored Abilene Christian's 42-19.