TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (3-24, 2-14 SLC) AT NORTHWESTERN STATE (11-16, 6-10 SLC)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will head on the road for the final time this season to face Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin. The Islanders will take on the Lady Demons on Thursday, March 7, before wrapping the season against the Ladyjacks on Saturday, March 9.
The Islanders are looking to snap a four-game losing streak. It will be the second meeting between the Lady Demons and Islanders this season and ninth time in program history. The Islanders are coming off a 60-51 home loss to Nicholls State on Saturday on senior night at the American Bank Center and are looking to bounce back from a 68-58 road loss to the Lady Demons in February.
Northwestern State currently sits in eighth place in the Southland Conference. The Islanders lead the all-time series at 6-2. Northwestern State is coming off a 48-44 loss to SFA and enters Thursday's game with an 11-16 record, including a 6-10 record in SLC play while the Islanders are 3-24 and 2-14 in the SLC.
Head Coach Royce Chadwick is in his first year as the Islanders' Head Coach. Chadwick has 564 wins on his collegiate coaching resume.
•The Islanders fell short, 60-51, to Nicholls State Saturday, in a game that featured 11 ties and 11 lead changes.
•Brandi Huff tallied her fifth double-figure scoring game of the season with 12 points to pace the Islanders.
•The Islanders' bench has outscored 11 of its last 12 opponents. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi outscored the Colonels' bench 25-11.
•Eight of the 10 players that saw action in Saturday's game entered the scoring column.
•Jessica Jammer leads the team with 8.2 points per game. She also leads the Islanders in conference play with 8.9 points per game.
•Jammer moved into fifth place in career blocks with 69.
•Verne'qua Taylor sits in fifth place all-time with 226 assists.
•Coach Chadwick has used 16 different starting lineups this season. On Saturday, he used the starting lineup of Ashanti Plummer, Alisa Roberts, Imani Dunn, Jessica Jammer and Verne'qua Taylor for the first time this season. 10 of the 12 active Islanders have started at least two games this season.
•The Islanders will wrap the season this weekend at Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin.
•The Islanders lead the all-time series against the Lady Demons 6-2.
SCOUTING THE LADY DEMONS
The Lady Demons and Islanders will meet for the ninth time in program history and second time this season in Southland Conference play. The Islanders lead the all-time series at 6-2.
The last time the Islanders and Lady Demons met up was on February 19, 2013, at the American Bank Center. The Islanders fell short, 68-58, to the Lady Demons after cutting the deficit to 10 with three to play in the second half. The Lady Demons were hot from behind the arc shooting 75 percent.
Northwestern State has split their last two games since facing the Islanders. The Lady Demons topped the University of New Orleans in a non-conference matchup 63-50 before falling to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, 48-44. Northwestern State is averaging 53.9 points per game behind Jasmine Upchurch's 12.3 points per game and Keisha Lee's 11.7 points per game. Janelle Perez is also in double-figures with 10.7 points per game. Jasmine Bradley leads the boards with 6.5 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.
Ashley Darley has made starts in 19 of the 26 Islanders' games and is second on the team with 8.1 points per game in 19.0 minutes per game. She has chipped in a team-high 39 steals apiece (10th, SLC).
Darling recorded a career-high 29 points vs. Sam Houston State and grabbed 11 rebounds. She posted a game-high 27 points at Oral Roberts, including 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. She scored 11 points and a season-high 12 rebounds vs. Lamar. Prior to that she tallied 17 points at UTPA and grabbed seven rebounds vs. Auburn. She also scored 12 points in both games against Colorado and Auburn in the Omni Hotels Classic. She chipped in four of the Islanders' season-high 18 steals. She led the team with 12 points at Lamar and at Central Arkansas.
Jessica Jammer has powered the Islanders' offense in conference play. She leads the team in scoring with 8.2 per game (29th, SLC) and has registered seven double-figure scoring games this season. She also leads the team in conference play with 8.9 points per game. Jammer leads the Islanders glass with 5.2 rebounds per game, which is good for 19th place in the SLC.
BE BLUNT ABOUT IT
Freshman guard Janae Blount is third on the team with 7.6 points per game and has tallied 5.4 points per game in conference play this season. She leads the team with 29 three pointers.
She has scored eight double-figure scoring games this season. 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.
A DUNN DEAL
At Nicholls State, 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. At Southeastern La., Dunn tallied six points going 6-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Alisa Roberts is fifth on the team with 5.5 points per game. The senior tallied a season-high 16 points vs. Texas State.
Last season's SLC assist leader Verne'qua Taylor brought back her old ways vs. Texas State with a season-best eight assists and matched it vs. Lamar. She leads the team with 89 assists (3.3 per game, 9th, SLC).
Taryn Gregory recorded a season-high 13 points vs. Southeastern La. and a career-high eight rebounds. At Central Arkansas Gregory sank a free throw with 3.7 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Islanders to victory. Marquesha Anderson-Sparks has been strong this season from the charity stripe with a .750 percentage (39-of-52). The junior made her first season start at Lamar and started against UCA where she went 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
The Islanders' bench has outscored 11 of its last 12 opponents. The Islanders tallied the 25-11 bench advantage on Saturday. Prior to that, the Islanders notched the 32-25 advantage over the Lady Lions and a 27-0 bench advantage over the Lady Demons and a 23-17 bench advantage at Oral Roberts. The Islanders posted a 28-4 bench advantage over UCA and a 31-11 bench advantage over McNeese State. The Islanders also outscored Sam Houston State's bench 31-17, Oral Roberts' bench 16-8 and followed it with a 21-13 bench advantage vs. UCA.
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 conclude the season on Saturday, March 9 when they travel to Nacogdoches, Texas to take on Stephen F. Austin.