TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (1-17, 0-7 SLC) AT SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA (7-11, 0-7 SLC)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team remains on the road to take on Southeastern Louisiana Saturday, Jan. 25 in Hammond, La. The Islanders and Lady Lions are both looking for their first conference victory of the season and are looking to snap a string of eight losses, including seven in conference play. The Islanders are coming off a 70-53 road loss to Nicholls State on Thursday, while the Lady Lions dropped a close 58-53 home loss to league leader Sam Houston State.
Saturday's game will mark the eighth meeting between the two teams. The Islanders have the 4-3 all-time series advantage and are 2-1 when playing the Lady Lions in Hammond, La. The Islanders have split its last two meetings with Southeastern La. Last season, the Islanders topped the Lady Lions, 78-73 at the American Bank Center.
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 562 wins on his collegiate coaching resume. Chadwick is looking for his first SLC victory since winning the SLC title with SFA in 2001.
• Taryn Gregory powered the Islanders with a season-high nine points Thursday at Nicholls State.
•For the third straight game, the Islanders had contribution from their bench. On Thursday against Nicholls State the Islanders' bench notched the 23-21 advantage. Gregory led the bench and Janae Blount chipped in six points.
•The Islanders committed a season-high 29 turnovers on Thursday which resulted in 32 points for the Colonels.
•Texas A&M - Corpus Christi's first victory of the season came before the holiday break on Dec. 18 vs. Cornell, 52-49. The team snapped a 10-game losing streak dating back to the last season and marked Coach Chadwick's first victory at the helm.
•Janae Blount leads the team with 8.9 points per game, which ranks 22nd in the Southland Conference.
•Coach Chadwick has used nine different starting lineups this season. On Thursday, he used the starting lineup of Ashley Darley, Imani Dunn, Brandi Huff, Ashanti Plummer and Verne'qua Taylor for the first time this season.
SCOUTING SOUTHEASTERN LA.
The Lady Lions and Islanders will meet for the eighth time in program history. The Islanders lead the all-time series 4-3.
The last time the Islanders and Lady Lions met up was last season at the American Bank Center on Jan. 14. The Islanders snapped a string of 18 Southland Conference losses, capturing a 78-73 victory. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi was propelled by three players in double-figure scoring. Former Islander Myeisha Myles powered the Islanders with 18 points and Marquesha Anderson-Sparks tallied a career-high 16 points. Prior to that, the Lady Lions edged the Islanders 80-73 in Hammond on January 15, 2011.
Southeastern Louisiana has dropped its last eight games, including seven in conference play. The Lady Lions are coming off a 58-53 home loss to Sam Houston State on Thursday. Southeastern La. has victories against Alcorn, New Orleans, Florida A&M, William Carey, JSUW, and Mobile.
Southeastern La. is averaging 62.9 points per game behind Aja Gibson's 11.5 points per game and Brandi Simmons' 10.1 points per game. Simmons leads the boards with 9.0 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.
A DUNN DEAL
On Thursday, Imani Dunn tallied eight points all in the first half, including 2-for-4 from behind the arc in her third start of the season. Prior to that, the senior made her first season start vs. Oral Roberts and gave the Islanders a spark, scoring the first seven points for the Islanders. She also tied a career-high three from behind the arc in a career-high 32 minutes.
Jessica Jammer has powered the Islanders' offense in conference play. She is second in scoring with 7.4 per game and has registered five double-figure scoring games this season. She leads the team with 5.3 rebounds per game, which is good for 19th place in the SLC. The senior leads the Islanders in conference play with 7.4 points per game.
BE BLUNT ABOUT IT
Freshman guard Janae Blount is leading the Islanders with 8.9 points per game which is good for 22nd in the SLC in scoring. She has scored in double figures in seven of the 18 games this season and has made starts in 10. The Washington, D.C. native scored a career-high 21 points vs. Auburn and tied her career-high four three-pointers at the 26th Annual Omni Hotels Classic in Boulder, Colo. to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Ashley Darley has made starts in 14 of the 18 Islanders' games. She is third on the team with 6.6 points per game in 17.8 minutes per game. She has also chipped in a team-high 26 steals, which is good for 12th place in the SLC.
Darling 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 and chipped in four of the Islanders' season-high 18 steals. She led the team with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting at Lamar.
Right behind Darley is Alisa Roberts who is fourth on the team with 5.8 points per game. The senior tallied a season-high 16 points vs. Texas State.
Last season's Southland Conference assist leader Verne'qua Taylor brought back her old ways vs. Texas State with a season-best eight assists. She followed that performance with six assists vs. Cornell and seven at Southeastern La.
Taryn Gregory has dished out 25 assists and has started in 11 of the Islanders' 18 games this season. She tallied a season-high nine points at Southeastern La. Marquesha Anderson-Sparks has been strong this season from the charity stripe with a .789 percentage (30-of-38). The junior made her first season start at Lamar and started against Central Arkansas where she went 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
LEADING AT THE HALF
The Islanders took a 23-22 lead at the half vs. Oral Roberts behind the team's 53.8 percent shooting from the field and followed it with the same 23-22 halftime score vs. Central Arkansas. It was the sixth time this season the Islanders headed into the locker room ahead. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 1-5 when leading at the half.
The Islanders' bench has outscored its last three opponents. The Islanders notched the 16-8 bench advantage vs. Oral Roberts and followed it with a 21-13 bench advantage vs. Central Arkansas. On Thursday, the Islanders' bench outscored Nicholls State's bench 23-21.
Royce Chadwick is the fourth coach in Islanders' history to make his debut on the sidelines. He holds 562 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. 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. Darren Brunson also made his Islanders' coaching debut this season as the Islanders Assistant Coach. Geoff Grawn is in his 11th season on the Islanders' staff as an assistant coach.
The Islanders will return home to host Sam Houston State at the Dugan Wellness Center on Friday, Feb. 1. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.