NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team picked up a win in its first road game on Tuesday, defeating Belmont by a final of 72-62.
The Islanders were able to knock off the Bruins in their home arena after Belmont came into the American Bank Center last season and downed A&M – Corpus Christi.
For the fourth-straight game, Jasmine Shaw was the leading scorer for the Islanders, as she scored only two points in the first half, but came out strong in the second to get a total of 17 on the night. She helped her team put the game away late, going 6 for 6 from the free throw line down the stretch.
Senior Ashley Darley nearly recorded her second double-double of the season, as she pulled down 10 rebounds, four of which on the offensive end, in just 22 minutes of play. She also had seven points on the night.
Both junior transfer Alissa Campanero and freshman Brittany Mbamalu recorded career highs, as Campanero also helped the team late with four free throws and a total of 12 points, while Mbamalu went 4-8 from downtown en route to a 14-point performance. Kassie Jones also notched the first collegiate points of the night, adding a total of eight.
The entire team shot the ball well for A&M – Corpus Christi, sinking 11 threes, which was just one short of tying the school record for most three pointers made in a game. For the night, the team shot 44 percent from the field and 48 percent from behind the arc.
After getting outrebounded by a total of 27 in the first three games, the Islanders hit the glass hard against the Bruins, outrebounding them 41-28.
Less than a minute into the game, the Islanders jumped on Belmont to get an early 5-0 lead. Taryn Gregory started things off, busting a wide open three after Shaw drew all the defenders into the lane and dished it out. Darley then found an open lane to the bucket and converted on the layup.
However, the Bruins would come right back to score the next five points, hitting a three and layup of their own in the next 53 seconds to tie the game up.
Both teams then struggled to find any sort of offensive consistency. Each side only scored four points a piece over a stretch of more than seven minutes.
After three ties in the game with the Islanders leading the rest of the time, it was at the 11:12 mark that the home team finally took the lead. Belmont would then extend its lead on a layup by its leading scorer Jordyn Luffman.
However, the Islanders would come right back to tie the game up with Darley and Alissa Campanero knocking down jumpers on back-to-back possessions to make it 13 all with 8:36 left in the half. Campanero would then hit a three two possessions later to give the lead back to A&M – Corpus Christi.
Belmont came right back to score the next five points to regain the lead, as the Islanders went on a scoreless streak of nearly five minutes. It was then that freshman Mbamalu sank two from behind the arc to give the visitors the lead once again.
Another freshman then turned it on for the Islanders. Kassie Jones recorded her first career points with a jumper to extend the lead to six. She then scored four more points in the final minute, scoring the Islanders final six points of the half.
However, Belmont would match those four points, and the Islanders would take a 28-22 lead into the half.
In the second half, the Islanders came out on fire, especially from long range. Before the first media timeout in the second half, A&M – Corpus Christi had already knocked down three threes, two from Shaw and one from Gregory, to extend its lead to 12 with 13:54 left to play.
But after the onslaught of offense, the Islanders' shooters went cold, failing to score in nearly the next four minutes. Luckily, the Bruins were only able to score four points during that stretch to cut the lead to eight.
The barrage of threes came once again, as Mbamalu knocked down her third and fourth threes of the game to push the A&M – Corpus Christi lead to 16 – its biggest of the night.
Belmont would not go down easily though, rattling off the next seven points to cut the lead to single digits once again with 7:21 left on the clock.
Once again it was response from downtown by the Islanders, as Gregory knocked down her second three of the night and the team's 11th.
A basket, foul and a made free throw on Belmont's offensive end pulled the lead back to just nine with 6:48 left, but that is the closest the Bruins would get the rest of the night.
In the final three minutes and 13 seconds of play, the Islanders would head to the line 19 times and would ice the game by converting on 13 of them.
The Islanders will play one more game in Nashville before heading back to the Coastal Bend, as they will matchup with Tennessee State on Thursday at 7 p.m.
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