UTSA (4-10, 0-1 SOUTHLAND) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (4-10, 0-1)
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will return home after dropping three straight and five of their last six on the road. The Islanders will host UTSA in their second Southland Conference game of the season Wednesday night at the American Bank Center.
The Islanders sit at 4-10 and 0-1 in the SLC and are looking to snap a string of 17 conference losses dating back to last season. In the conference opener on Saturday, Zoe Vega-Vega powered the Islanders with her first double-double of the season, but the Islanders dropped their fifth road game of the season, falling 66-51, to defending conference champion McNeese State.
The Islanders are 6-8 all-time against UTSA and hold the 4-3 advantage against the Roadrunners at home. The last home win against UTSA came on Jan. 23, 2010 with the Islanders squeezing out the 52-48 victory.
UTSA has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the Southland Conference West Division after finishing 11-5 last season. The Roadrunners also have a 4-10 record and sit at 0-1 in the conference.
• Zoe Vega-Vega started for the first time this season against McNeese State on Saturday and tallied her first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds in a season-high 27 minutes.
• Imani Dunn had her first career start and tallied a career-high eight points, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc in a season-high 17 minutes.
• Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is outshooting their opponents from behind the arc .364 percent (62-218) to .258 (78-302). The Islanders are shooting .353 from the field in conference play.
• The Islanders have dropped three straight and five of their last six.
• Coach Robinson has used five different starting lineups this season.
• Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will take on UTSA and Southeastern Louisiana this week. The Islanders are 6-8 all-time against UTSA and 3-3 all-time against Southeastern Louisiana.
LAST TIME OUT
Zoe Vega-Vega powered the Islanders with her first double-double of the season, but the Islanders dropped their fifth road game of the season, falling 66-51, to McNeese State in the Southland Conference opener. The Cowgirls capitalized at the free-throw line making 19-of-22.
Vega-Vega paced the Islanders with a season-high 11 points and tied a career-high 10 rebounds in her first start of the season. Imani Dunn scored a career-high eight points including 2-of-3 from behind the arc in 17 minutes of play in her first career start. Marquesha Anderson-Sparks chipped in eight points and three assists to round out the Islanders scoring.
SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS
UTSA heads into Wednesday's game with a 4-10 overall record and sits at 0-4 on the road. The Roadrunners have dropped their last three games and five of their last six.
The Roadrunners are coming off a 63-50 loss to Sam Houston State in their conference home opener on Saturday. Last season the Roadrunners finished 11-5 in the SLC and advanced to the semifinals. This season, the Roadrunners have victories over Texas-Pan American, Houston, Detroit and FIU.
On the season, UTSA averages 55.2 points, shoots .332 from the floor (254-of-765), .218 percent (48-of-220) from three-point range and .678 (217-of-320) from the line.
Individually, the Roadrunners are led by Ashley Gardner with 10.2 points per game and Kamra King is second on the team in points with 9.1 points per game. Mannasha Bell leads the Roadrunners with 7.8 rebounds per game.
Wednesday's game will mark the 14th meeting between the two schools with the Roadrunners holding an 8-6 advantage. UTSA has won the last three with the Islanders claiming a 52-48 win at home on Jan. 23, 2010.
The last time the two teams met up was at home on Feb. 23, 2011. The Roadrunners sealed a 93-62 victory. Taryn Gregory scored a career-high 17 points, five rebounds and three steals in 27 minutes and Jessica Jammer scored 10 points. Imani Dunn, Brandi Huff and Zoe Vega-Vega also saw action.
The Islanders also dropped a 69-44 loss at UTSA on Jan. 12, 2011. Jammer tallied seven points, seven rebounds and Vega-Vega registered six points and 10 rebounds. Huff and Gregory also contributed.
This season the Islanders have depth on their roster, something they have lacked in the past. This season, the Islanders bench has outscored their opponents' bench 291-263. Freshman Trish Amboree leads the bench with 7.2 points per game and sophomore Marquesha Anderson-Sparks is second with 6.8 points per game.
The Islanders are outrebounding their opponents 632-620 with an average of 45.1 rebounds per game. The Islanders are leading the conference with 29.4 defensive rebounds a game.
Myeisha Myles is leading the team on the glass with 7.4 rebounds per game. Jessica Jammer is second with 6.6 rebounds per game while Damequia Montgomery is third with 5.9. The Islanders have been a force on the defensive end, tallying 411 rebounds to their opponent's 389. Jammer and Myles have combined for a total of 125 defensive rebounds.
AT A GLANCE
The Islanders finished 2-4 in the month of December and 2-5 in November this season. Since its first season of basketball in 1999-2000 the Islanders are 49-41 in the month of January.
Head coach Robert Robinson is within two games of reaching the 70-win mark. Robinson currently sits at 68 wins in his six years as head coach at the Island University.
Joining Myeisha Myles as the lone seniors on the team is Zoe Vega-Vega. She is in her second season after transferring from Daytona State College.
In the Islanders conference opener against McNeese State, the senior stepped her game up, posting her first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds in her first season start. The senior also tallied two assists, one steal and went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in a seaon-high 27 minutes.
Vega-Vega came off the bench against Indiana and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, two short of tying her career best. The senior is averaging 3.6 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per game in 15.2 minutes per game.
GOING THE MYLE
Senior Myeisha Myles has stepped up for the Islanders as of late. She posted a balanced attack for the Islanders against the Indiana Hoosiers. Myles powered the Islanders with her seventh double-digit scoring game of the season with a team-high 19 points and grabbed five boards, while also adding three blocks and two steals in 25 minutes of play.
In the Islanders conference opener, Myles tallied six points and nine rebounds in a season-high 34 minutes. This season, the senior has registered two double-doubles and leads the team in scoring with 10.8 points per game and in rebounds with 7.4 rebounds per game. Myles is second on the team with an average of 27.7 minutes per game.
She currently leads the conference with a .544 (62-114) field goal percentage. She is in 17th place with 10.8 points per game and is tied for ninth in rebounds with an average of 7.4 a game. Myles is tied with Jammer in eighth place with an average of 1.0 block per game. She also sits in eighth place with 2.9 offensive rebounds a game and in 11th place with 4.5 defensive rebounds a game.
Myles along with Taylor are the only two Islanders to have started all 14 games.
TALE OF NENE
Verne'qua "Nene" Taylor leads the team at the point guard position and has no problem sharing the ball. The junior is currently leading the conference with an average of 4.1 assists a game with a total of 58 assists in 14 games in a team-high 29.6 minutes per game.
Against SMU, the Wharton, Texas native, posted a season-high 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and dished out eight assists while jumpstarting the Islanders scoring in the second half. At Indiana, the junior passed out seven assists, while tallying four points and five rebounds in 33 minutes.
She is averaging 6.4 points per game, 4.3 rebounds and is second on the team in steals with 15. Taylor along with the Myles are the only two Islanders to have started all 14 games.
The Islanders were picked to finish last in the Southland West Division after finishing last in the conference last season.
The Islanders will continue conference action at home on Saturday, Jan. 14 when they face Southeastern Louisiana at the American Bank Center. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.