CORPUS CHRISTI – Junior Ashley Darley recorded a career-high 29 points on 13-of-16 shooting and tallied a season-high 11 rebounds, but Sam Houston State's second-half play lifted the Bearkats to a 68-53 victory Friday night at the Dugan Wellness Center.
The Islanders (1-19, 0-9 SLC) led at the half for the seventh time this season and put together a strong first half but was unable to hold the lead as Sam Houston State (12-9, 8-1 SLC) was powered by three players in double-figure scoring. Darley led all scorers with her sixth double-digit scoring game this season while Jessica Jammer added eight points. Ashanti Plummer matched a career-high seven rebounds and Janae Blount tallied six boards.
Sequeena Thomas registered 14 points and 15 rebounds, while Jasmine Johnson added 14 points and Britni Martin chipped in 13 points. The Bearkats edged the Islanders just 43-42 on the boards in a game that featured nine lead changes and three ties.
The Islanders jumped out to a 9-5 lead with baskets by Jammer and Blount. The Bearkats answered with a 9-2 run to push ahead by three with just under 12 to play in the first half. The Islanders knotted the score at 14 with a free throw by Brandi Huff and a jumper by Jammer. The Bearkats put together a 5-2 run to pull ahead by three before Darley put together a 4-2 run to cut the deficit to one. After a layup by the Bearkats' Martin, the Islanders pushed ahead by one with a 6-2 run to end the half.
The Islanders went into the locker room with a 26-25 lead on 37.9 percent shooting from the field. Darley led all scorers with 10 points in seven minutes, while Jammer added eight and Plummer powered the boards with a game-high six rebounds. The Islanders' bench outscored the Bearkats' bench 12-5 in the first half that featured eight lead changes.
Huff started the second half with a jumper before Sam Houston State jumped out to a 21-2 run. Darley followed by putting together a 9-2 run to trim the lead to nine with nine to play. The Bearkats answered with a 10-2 run to pad the lead to 17. Darley followed with another layup and Plummer added two free throws but Sam Houston State went on a 5-0 run and the Islanders went on an 8-5 run as time expired.
Jammer, Plummer, Huff, Janae Blount and Verne'qua Taylor all received the starting nod for the Islanders, the first time that starting five has seen the floor together and it marked the 11th different starting lineup this season.
The Islanders will host Lamar on Thursday, Feb. 7 in the Play4Kay Pink Game at the American Bank Center. Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m.
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