TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (0-7) AT No. 13/18 Texas (4-0)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will wrap their challenging November schedule on Friday, Nov. 30, when they travel to Austin to take on No. 13/18-ranked Texas. The game is scheduled for an 11 a.m. tipoff and is part of a forty acres field trip event featuring 4,000 students from 45 schools. The Islanders are 0-3 on the road this season and are coming off a 49-45 Wednesday night loss to Texas - Pan American. The Islanders are looking for their first victory of the season after dropping their first seven contests, including four on the road. The Islanders have had a challenging November schedule with seven games in a span of 17 days.
Head Coach Royce Chadwick is in his first year as the Islanders' Head Coach. Chadwick, who spent the previous 11 years at the helm of the Marshall University program, has 561 wins on his collegiate coaching resume.
Texas holds a perfect 4-0 record and will be the first top-25 opponent the Islanders have faced this season. The Longhorns are 2-0 at home and are wrapping a three-game homestand. Friday's contest will mark the sixth meeting between the two schools with Texas holding a 5-0 advantage.
•The Islanders shot a season-low 24.6 percent from the field on Wednesday vs. UTPA.
•After triggering a season-high 10 three-pointers vs. Auburn on Saturday, the Islanders were held scoreless from behind the arc on Wednesday for the second time this season.
•Freshman Janae Blount tallied a season-low three points on Wednesday vs. UTPA after registering a career-high 21 points vs. Auburn. She has scored in double figures five out the seven games this season.
•Ashley Darley recorded her fifth double-figure scoring game this season vs. UTPA with 14 points. She tied a season-high seven rebounds.
•Darley is seventh in the Southland Conference with 2.1 steals per game. Blount sits in 10th and Taryn Gregory is in 14th.
•Marquesha Anderson-Sparks is tied for second in the SLC with a free-throw percentage of .857.
•Coach Chadwick has used the same starting five of Ashanti Plummer, Ashley Darley, Janae Blount, Jessica Jammer and Taryn Gregory six out of the seven games this season. Darley is the only one to make starts in all seven games this season.
•The last time the Islanders started the season 0-7 was during the 2010-11 season when the team went 0-11 before sealing two consecutive victories. The team finished 2-27 that year.
• Chadwick has a career record of 561-302 (.650) in stops at Marshall, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Oklahoma Panhandle State and Howard Junior College.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS
The Longhorns and Islanders meet for the sixth time in program history. Texas has notched all five dating back to 2003, including three in Austin. The last time the two teams met up was in 2008 when Texas sealed an 87-36 victory in Austin. Prior to that, the Islanders fell at home to Texas, 88-41, in 2007.
The Longhorns are coming off back-to-back victories at home. On Saturday, Texas topped Central Connecticut, 94-58, and last Tuesday the team sealed an 80-53 victory over Jackson State. Prior to that, Texas picked up neutral-site victories vs. St. John's and Hofstra in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Texas is averaging 79.0 points per game behind Nneka Enemkpali's 24.0 points per game and Chassidy Fussell's 19.8 points per game. Cokie Reed is third on the team with 10.0 points per game. Enemkpali is leading the glass with 13.0 rebounds per game.
The Islanders were picked to finish eighth in the Southland Conference Coaches' Poll after finishing with a 5-11 conference record last season.
BE BLUNT ABOUT IT
Freshman guard Janae Blount is leading the Islanders with 11.9 points per game in 26.9 minutes per game. She is 12th in the SLC in scoring and is eighth in 3-point goal percentage. She has scored in double figures in five of the seven games this season and has made starts in six of the seven. The Washington, D.C. native is 18-for-22 from the line. She scored a career-high 21 points vs. Auburn and a career-high four three-pointers.
Joining Blount is freshman post Ashanti Plummer who has added some inside presence after averaging 18.1 points per game during her senior season of high school. She also pulled down 13.6 rebounds. Freshman Zenobia Winbush and junior transfer Morgan Schwartz have added height to the Islanders roster. Schwartz transferred from Midland CC where she played two seasons under head coach Ron Jones. Rounding out the newcomers is Janae Lyde who is a sophomore transfer from Texas Southern and will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. In the exhibition, Plummer led the newcomers with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field. Plummer and Schwartz both pulled down five rebounds apiece.
Ashley Darley is back after sitting out last season with a medical redshirt. The redshirt junior has made starts in all seven of the Islanders' games. She is second on the team with 9.7 points per game in 20.9 minutes per game. She has also chipped in a team-high 15 steals, which is good for seventh in the SLC.
Darley recorded a season-high 17 points at UTPA and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds vs. Auburn. She also scored 12 points in both games against Colorado and Auburn in the Omni Hotels Classic. She netted a game-high 14 points vs. UTPA on Wednesday and chipped in four of the Islanders' season-high 18 steals.
Joining Darley is senior Jessica Jammer who is third on the team with 6.3 points per game. She leads the team with 5.3 rebounds per game. Helping Jammer on the boards is Darley with 3.7 rebounds per game and Brandi Huff with 3.3 rebounds per game. Marquesha Anderson-Sparks is second in the conference and leads the team at the charity stripe with a .857 percentage (18-of-21).
The Islanders also return last season's conference assist leader Verne'qua Taylor and guards Alisa Roberts, Imani Dunn, Taryn Gregory, Trish Amboree and Sarah Alva, along with forward Damequia Montgomery.
Royce Chadwick is the fourth coach in Islanders' history to make his debut on the sidelines. He holds 561 wins on his collegiate coaching resume and seven NCAA Tournament bids. Chadwick is familiar with the Southland Conference after coaching stints at Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State. He holds a .829 career winning percentage in Southland Conference games. Chadwick was named the Southland Coach of the Year in 1997. He has 28 years of experience coaching women's college basketball and four career wins in the NCAA Tournament.
Roxanne White joins Chadwick on the sidelines as the Islanders' Associate Head Coach. White served on Chadwick's staffs at Marshall and Stephen F. Austin. White was Marshall's recruiting coordinator for all 11 years she was at the school and was the associate head coach for 10 of those seasons. The Stephen F. Austin alumna was an assistant for Chadwick for five years at SFA and also spent a year with Texas A&M.
Darren Brunson also made his Islanders' coaching debut this season as the Islanders Assistant Coach. Brunson comes to the Island University after spending the past two years as the associate head coach and team's recruiting coordinator at Texas Southern.
Geoff Grawn is in his 11th season on the Islanders' staff as an assistant coach.
The Islanders have had a tough November schedule against some of the top competition around. The Islanders have faced opponents from the Big Ten, SEC, Pac 12, WAC, Ohio Valley and Great West.
The Islanders will be off the next 14 days before facing former Southland Conference opponent Texas State on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Dugan Wellness Center. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.