CORPUS CHRISTI – Freshman Janae Blount led all scorers with a career-high 21 points and the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team posted a season-high 10 three-pointers, but it wasn't enough as Auburn outscored the Islanders' 44-25 in the second half to win, 72-57, Saturday evening.
The Islanders (0-6) led by eight at the half but the Tigers (4-2) went on a 26-10 run to open the second half to build a 12-point cushion. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi cut the lead to five on a 9-0 run with 4:45 to play but Auburn answered with a 16-6 run to win the consolation game of the 26th Annual Omni Hotels Classic at the Coors Events Center.
The Islanders were led by Blount's 21 points, which included a career-high four three-pointers. She earned a spot on the Omni Hotels Classic All-Tournament Team. Ashley Darley chipped in 12 points and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds to lead the glass. The Islanders shot just 32.8 percent to the Tigers' 58.5 percent.
Auburn was powered by four players in double figures and outscored the Islanders 44-12 in the paint. Hasina Muhammad led the Tigers with 16 points, Peyton Davis chipped in 15, Courtney Strain added 13 and Tyrese Tanner recorded 11 to round out the top scorers.
Muhammad opened the game with a layup before Blount gave the Islanders the early lead with a trey. After an Auburn layup, Morgan Schwartz dished it to Brandi Huff for the inside bucket to push the Islanders ahead 5-4 with 15:44 to play in the half.
After a Tiger basket, Alisa Roberts triggered a trey from Verne'qua Taylor to build a two-point cushion. After a 4-0 Auburn run, Marquesha Anderson-Sparks hit the Islanders' third three to push the team ahead by one with 13:13 to play. Auburn took the lead back over with a layup by Cabriana Capers but Darley and Anderson-Sparks put together a 4-0 run to pad a three-point lead. However, the Tigers answered with an 11-2 run to extend the lead to six with 4:46 to play.
The Islanders went on a 14-5 run to push ahead by four to end the first half. During the run, Blount triggered two threes, Taryn Gregory added a trey and jumper while Blount and Darley each chipped in points at the charity stripe.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi headed into the locker room with a 32-38 lead on 37 percent shooting from the field. Blount led all scorers with 11 points, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc. Gregory added five and Darley led the boards with five. The Islanders out rebounded the Tigers 19-16 in the first half and tallied six from three-point land. Davis paced the Tigers with seven points and five rebounds while Muhammad and Strain each chipped in six points. There were 11 lead changes in the first half.
The Islanders' lead evaporated quickly in the second half after Auburn clawed its way back with an 8-0 run to take the lead. Roberts trigged a three but the Tigers built a 10-0 run to extend the lead to 11 with 14:18 to play. Ashanti Plummer hit a layup before consecutive buckets by the Tigers built a 22-5 run. Darley helped trim the lead to eight with a jumper and the Islanders' eighth trey, but Auburn powered its way back with back-to-back buckets to push the lead back to 12 with 8:42 to play.
The Islanders put together a 9-0 run to rally their way back into the game with 4:45 to play. During the run, Blount scored seven straight points and Jessica Jammer tallied a layup. However, the Tigers' answered with a 16-6 run to secure the victory.
The Islanders will host Texas - Pan American on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the American Bank Center. It will mark the second meeting between the two schools this season. The Broncs notched the first meeting, 77-65, in Edinburg on Nov .13 in the Islanders' second game of the season.
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2012 Omni Hotels Classic All-Tournament Team:
Arielle Roberson, 6-2, Fr., F, Colorado – MVP
Chucky Jeffery, 5-10, Sr, G, Colorado
Courtney Clements, 6-0, Sr., G, San Diego State
Tyrese Tanner, 6-1, Jr., G/F, Auburn
Janae Blount, 5-9, Fr., G, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi