The women's basketball team at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will open the 2009-10 season on Friday night against the Air Force Academy in the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach Tip-Off Tournament. Game time is set for 7:30 PM with the Islanders playing in the second game of the day.
A very deep and talented roster is set for TAMUCC with 10 returning players as well as four newcomers making up the team. One of those 10 players is Elisa Beagle, a Second Team All-Southland preseason pick and one of the most experienced centers in the league. She will be seeing her first live game action in over a year after missing all of last season with an injury. She is joined by Jade Davis, a First Team All-Southland member and the top scorer from a season ago. Davis averaged 12.8 points per game to pace the Islanders.
In addition to the All-Southland team members, the Islanders will also have the luxury of six players of 6-0 or taller on the roster. Beagle (6-0), Adrienne Scott (6-1), Diandra Torres (6-1), Myeisha Myles (6-2) and LaToya Thomas (6-2) return and are joined by Anitra Jeffery (6-0), a transfer from Angelina Junior College.
The full squad of healthy players will be something the Islanders did not enjoy last season with several members of the team missing significant time. It will present the coaching staff with a welcome problem as they settle on lineups that best suit their style of play.
"We are going to be looking at different personnel this weekend," said head coach Robert Robinson. "We will look at who plays well together and what kind of combinations work well out on the floor."
Up first for TAMUCC will be Air Force, a team that returns just six players from the 2008-09 team that finished with a 4-26 record. The Falcons bring in 10 new faces for a total of 16 players on the 2009-10 squad. It is a very young team with nine freshmen and three sophomores and just four upper classmen. TAMUCC has an all-time record of 3-0 against the Falcons with the last meeting coming during the 2002-03 season, an 81-61 win for the Islanders.
"I want to make sure our kids come out, play hard and compete in front of the home crowd," said head coach Robert Robinson. "Our first game against Air Force is going to be very tough."
On the second day of the tournament, the Islanders will play either the Alabama Crimson Tide or Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, both teams that have never faced TAMUCC. The Tide posted a record of 13-17 last season while the Eagles were 9-21 on the year.
"I want to see where we are at on the year," said Robinson. "Hopefully our experience will carry us on Friday and Saturday."
Fans unable to attend the game can follow all the action on www.goislanders.com by watching live stats or listening online. All the play-by-play action will be brought to you by Yannis Koutroupis on the Islander Blue Zone.