CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Freshman Anderson Kopp led Lamar University with 15 points but the Cardinals struggles from long range hurt as Big Red dropped a 64-58 decision at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday at the American Bank Center.
 
The Cardinals (9-10/3-5 SLC) finished the game 22-of-57 (.386) from the field but could manage just 3-of-16 (.188) from three-point range with two of those coming in the first half. The Cards were outrebounded, 41-27, which led to a 14-5 advantage for the Islanders in second chance points.
 
After making just seven field goals in the first half, the Islanders nearly doubled their output in the second with 12 makes. A&M-Corpus Christi ended the day 19-of-48 (.396) from the field. The difference in the game came at the free throw line where the Islanders converted 23-of-32 (.719) attempts. The Islanders hit nine more free throws than LU attempted.
 
Kopp was joined in double figures by seniors T.J. Atwood and V.J. Holmes. Atwood added 14 point on 6-of-11 shooting, while Holmes scored 12. The Islanders were led by Jordan Hairston's 23 points.
 
The Cardinals raced out to an early eight point lead, 16-8, eight minutes into the game behind some strong shooting – four of their first eight and seven of the first 13 (.538) – to grab the advantage. Big Red's offense was sparked by freshman Anderson Kopp who connected on three of his first four attempts, including a three, to lead LU.
 
Both teams opened the game strong from the field as the Islanders also converted four of their first eight attempts, but A&M-Corpus Christi was hurt by some early turnovers. The home team turned the ball over four times in the first five minutes which led to seven Cardinal points.
 
Leading by eight with 1:17 remaining in the half, Kopp was fouled in the backcourt leading to a one-and-one situation. Kopp's first free throw was off the mark but no one reacted other than Kopp who picked up the ball and laid it in for an easy two points. The Islanders closed the half with a three-pointer and two free throws to trim the lead down to five heading into the locker room.
 
The Cardinals were 11-of-29 (.379) from the field, but just 2-of-8 (.250) from three-point range. The Islanders won the battle on the glass in the opening 20 minutes of action, 22-14, including eight offensive rebounds. A&M-Corpus Christi's work on the offensive glass didn't have much of an impact on the scoreboard. The Islanders finished the half with just six second chance points.
 
Big Red forced the Islanders into 14 turnovers in the first half which led to 13 points. LU had just seven miscues in the first half and A&M-Corpus Christi scored just five points from those mistakes. The Islanders were held to a 7-of-24 (.292) performance in the opening half.
 
After a 9-4 run to start the second half, Peyton Smith hit a three to the game with 17:15 on the clock, but the Cards responded with a basket from Atwood. After an early second-half run, the game transitioned into a back-and-forth affair but the Cardinals reclaimed the lead following a Sullivan layup in traffic followed by a Holmes steal which led to an Atwood and-one as LU reclaimed a four-point lead.
 
The Islanders countered to claim a four-point advantage following a Jordan Hairston triple with 2:58 remaining, 55-51. Big Red was never able to jump back in front as the Islanders held on for the win.
 
The Cardinals return to action Saturday when they travel to San Antonio, Texas to take on UIW. The game against the Southland's other Cardinals will tip off 7 p.m. from the McDermott Center.