NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team (6-14, 2-5) saw a 14-point first half lead evaporate, as the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks (14-5, 4-2) fought their way back in the second half to seal a 69-57 victory Saturday night at William R. Johnson Coliseum in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Junior Alisa Roberts led the Islanders with her fifth double-digit scoring game with 17 points, including a perfect 6-for-6 from behind the charity stripe and three from behind the arc. Junior Verne'qua Taylor scored 10 points and tallied six rebounds and eight assists, one shy of her career best. Taylor scored 10 of the Islanders 22 second half points and Roberts tallied seven of them.
SFA was paced by two players in double-figure scoring. Tammara Marion tallied 20 points and five rebounds while Ashlee Mells added 10 points and registered eight rebounds.
The Islanders led as many as 14 points with 8:03 left to play in the first half, but the Ladyjacks gained momentum on a 20-6 run in the second half to overcome the deficit and take a 16-point lead with 5:17 left to play.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi jumped out to a 4-0 lead to start the game with buckets from Imani Dunn and Myeisha Myles before SFA scored back-to-back buckets to tie it at four. The Islanders extended the lead to nine on a 9-0 run. Roberts made two free throws before Dunn and Zoe Vega-Vega each scored during the run. Roberts then triggered her first three of the game to give the Islanders the 13-4 advantage.
SFA answered with a 4-0 run to pull within five, but the Islanders padded the lead to 10 on a 5-0 run. Brandi Huff delivered her third three-pointer of the season and Taylor's dish to Jessica ammer gave the Islanders an 18-8 lead. SFA tacked up two free throws before Jammer's back-to-back layups extended the lead to 12 at the 8:30 mark. Roberts added another trey from downtown before the two teams traded baskets and free throws.
The Islanders saw their lead quickly evaporate as the Ladyjacks gained momentum on a 13-2 run with back-to-back three's and a layup to pull within three with 2:30 left to play. Vega-Vega hit a jumper before SFA's Brittany Matthew's added a free throw. Taryn Gregory's put back pushed the Islanders lead to five, but back-to-back layups by the Ladyjacks in the final seconds cut the Islanders lead to one.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi headed into the locker room up 35-34. Roberts paced all scorers with 10 points, including two from downtown. Vega-Vega and Jammer each added six points. Taylor tallied six of the Islanders 10 assists in the half. Mells paced the Ladyjacks with eight points while Matthew and Marion each added seven apiece. The Islanders shot 43.8 percent from the field to the Ladyjacks 31 percent.
Roberts opened the second half with two free throws and Taylor triggered a layup before SFA answered with a 20-2 run. During the run the Ladyjacks garnered their first lead of the game and didn't look back. The Ladyjacks took the 42-41 lead at the 15:20 mark with a three-pointer from Tierany Henderson. SFA followed by extending their run to take a 12-point cushion with 8:15 left to play. Taylor hit one of two free throws to end the 10-minute dry spell before SFA's Annette Davis's layup pushed the lead to 14. Roberts answered with a free throw and back-to-back layups by the Ladyjacks extended the lead to 16. Damequia Montgomery and Vega-Vega both hit from the charity stripe to make it 60-46 with 4:15 left to play.
The Islanders went 14 minutes without a field goal until Taylor scored a layup with 2:19 left to play. Taylor answered at the free throw line before Roberts hit her third three-pointer of the game to cut the Ladyjacks lead to 11. After SFA scored, Huff triggered her second three-pointer of the game to bring the Islanders within 10. Marion hit two free throws before Taylor scored with 35 seconds to go.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will return home to the American Bank Center for two games next week. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, the Islanders will take on Nicholls State before facing Northwestern State on Saturday, Feb. 4. Both games are slated to tipoff at 7 p.m.