Hattiesburg, Miss. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team rebounded from its first loss of the season to take a 57-44 win over Jackson State in the consolation game of the Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic.
The Islanders improve to 4-1 on the season while the Lady Tigers fall to 1-4 on the year. It is the best five-game start for a TAMUCC team since a 5-0 beginning to the 2002-03 season.
Adrienne Scott once again led the Islanders in scoring as her and Elisa Beagle each put up 11 points on the afternoon. Scott also led the team with eight rebounds while Beagle and Deziree Green added six apiece.
The Islanders controlled the game from the opening tip, taking the initial possession down the court for a Beagle lay-up following an offensive rebound. Jade Davis and Shaye Montgomery each hit a three pointer before another pair of Beagle lay-ins to make it 12-0 before Jackson State was able to get on the board. Green hit another TAMUCC three to extend the lead to 16-2 and a 14 point lead.
"When Elisa is ready and focused, she is very tough to get off the block," said head coach Robert Robinson. "She battles on the boards and has been doing some very positive things for us."
The Islanders were able to hold the Tigers to just 18.8 percent shooting in the first half (6-32) and out rebounded Jackson State by a slim 23-22 margin. Beagle scored six points and Montgomery had five to lead the team in the opening half. The Islanders had 10 different players grab a rebound as Scott led the way with four boards. Myeisha Myles, Beagle and Anitra Jeffery followed close behind with three apiece. Jackson State player Rochelle Moncrieffe led the Lady Tigers with 10 rebounds in just 11 minutes off the bench.
The start of the second half looked like it would be more of the same from TAMUCC after they started on a 7-2 run. The Lady Tigers had other ideas however, forcing mistakes and chipping away at the Islander lead over the first 10 minutes of the half to cut it to just seven points at a 35-44 score.
"We didn't do a very good job in the second half, too many turnovers and lack of focus," said Robinson. "Our kids were a little tired today, yesterday took a lot out of them and their legs weren't as fresh."
TAMUCC slowly but surely distanced themselves once again by going on a 6-0 run and holding JUST scoreless for over five minutes. A pair of free throws by the Lady Tigers broke the streak and made it 48-37 in favor of the Islanders with 3:15 left in the contest. The two team traded points the rest of the way with TAMUCC taking a 57-44 final for its fourth win of the season.
"The second half effort was a little disappointing but at the same time it is a win," said Robinson. "You will always take a win however you can get it."
In addition to Scott and Beagle's 11 points, Montgomery hit double digits with 10 points in the game. The Islanders grabbed 40 rebounds in the game with Scott getting eight and Beagle and Green pulling down six each.
The Islanders improve to 14-1 all-time against members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC) and put the Islanders at 1-0 against Jackson State as it was the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The next test for TAMUCC will come next weekend when they travel to Colorado Springs, Colo. to take part in the Air Force Classic. The first opponent will be a 2-2 Drake team on Friday, Dec. 4 at 8:30 PM. The Islanders will then take on Chicago State on Saturday, Dec. 5 in a 3:00 PM match up.