The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team got a big boost to its post-season hopes Wednesday night as they defeated the Lamar Lady Cardinals by a 71-55 margin in a Southland Conference game on the road in Beaumont. The Islanders are now back in control of their own destiny as it pertains to making the SLC tournament. The Islanders are in with a win on Saturday afternoon against UT Arlington.
The Islanders improved to 11-17 on the season and 6-9 in SLC action. The Lady Cardinals dropped to 18-10 while now holding a 9-6 record in SLC play.
The Islanders used defense and a good inside game plan to dominate Lamar on the boards and in the scorebook. TAMUCC out-rebounded the Lady Cardinals by a 43-27 margin overall, including a 15-8 edge in offensive rebounding. Shaye Montgomery led the Islanders with 19 points on the night.
"We out-rebounded them by quite a bit," said Islander Head Coach Robert Robinson. "We were able to limit their second-chance shots and get some easy put backs on the offensive glass."
The Islanders did a good bit of their scoring on the inside, as Adrienne Scott broke out for a season-high 16 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds. Myeisha Myles added 12 points while pulling in a game-high 15 rebounds. Myles also added eight assists, just missing her first-career triple-double.
"Myeisha and Adrienne gave us huge performances out there tonight," said Robinson. "We made a commitment to feeding our post players tonight and Lamar never changed it up so we kept going inside to them."
The game opened with Lamar opening with a basket to take a 2-0 lead. It was the only lead the Lady Cardinals would hold on the night, as Deziree Green hit a jumper to tie it before Myles hit a jumper of her own to give the Islanders the lead at 4-2. The Cardinals were able to tie the game twice at 4-4 and at 6-6, but after Scott hit a jumper with 15:25 to go in the first half to make it 8-6 Islanders, TAMUCC would never lose its lead the rest of the way.
With the lead at 17-14 with 9:24 to go in the first half, The Islanders reeled off nine straight points to take a commanding 12 point lead at 26-14. The run started with a pair of free throws by Louvinia Robinson. Montgomery then hit a jumper, followed by a Jade Davis jumper to push it to 23-14. Green capped the run with a three-pointer at the 6:09 mark left in the half.
The Islanders held up to a challenge late in the half, as each team scored 10 points the rest of the way to end up at a 33-24 halftime score.
In the second half, with its lead dwindled down to two points at 33-31, the Islanders moved their lead back up to 10 points at 46-36 with a 13-5 run. With Lamar cutting the lead back to eight at 46-38, the Islanders exploded for 14-straight points to run their margin all the way to 22 points at 60-38.
Montgomery started the outburst with a pair of free throws. She followed that up with a three-pointer to make it 51-38 with 12:56 left in the game. Myles added a layup, followed by a Green three and a pair of jumpers from LaToya Thomas and Montgomery to push it to 60-38 with 9:43 left in the game.
The Lady Cardinals were never able to mount much of an effort after that point, with the closest margin at any time afterwards being 14 points with 2:21 left in the game. Davis capped the scoring with a pair of free throw shots to make it 71-55 in favor of the Islanders.
"This was a huge game for us," said Robinson. "We talked about taking it one game at a time and it was a big motivating factor for us."
"The kids did a great job of responding under pressure today."
Montgomery led the Islanders with 19 points while Myles added 12 and Scott had 16. Myles also added 15 rebounds while Scott contributed 12. Green added 11 points as the fourth Islander in double-digits. Myles also led the team with eight assists on the night.
The Islanders now return home to the American Bank Center on Saturday afternoon with a 1 PM tipoff against league-leading UT Arlington. It will be senior day for the Islanders, as they honor Sarah Davidson for her contributions to the Islander program. The game also plays significantly in the SLC race for the final spot in the tournament. If the Islanders win, they are guaranteed a spot. With a loss, there are still multiple scenarios that have the Islanders making the tournament.