November 27, 2013

Islanders Earn Another Comeback Win

 SAN MARCOS, Texas – For the second straight game, the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team was able to overcome a double-digit deficit in the second half to record a victory.

On Wednesday, the Islanders were able to erase a 16-point Texas State lead to defeat the Bobcats 68-60 in San Marcos, Texas. The Islanders now finished up their first road trip of the season going 3-0 after wins at Belmont and Tennessee State as well.

Freshman guard Brittany Mbamalu registered her third consecutive game of scoring double digits, as she went 3-7 from the field, including two threes, as well as a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line to amass 14 points.

Also helping the Islanders out offensively was Taryn Gregory, who tallied 10 points to go along with a game-high six assists. Another player who made a significant contribution on the Islanders' end of the court was Ashley Darley. She pulled down seven offensive rebounds to go along with three defensive rebounds, as well as eight points, finishing just shy of her second double-double of the year.

As a team, A&M – Corpus Christi cleaned up everything on the glass. The Islanders outrebounded their opponent 53-34, including 23-7 on the offensive end.

It was a slow start for the Islanders, as Texas State jumped out to a quick 6-0 start. A&M – Corpus Christi was unable to make its first three field goal attempts, before Mbamalu hit a three from NBA range to cut the Bobcat lead to three just two and a half minutes into the game.

However, Texas State would go on another run, this time a 7-0 streak to push its lead to double digits. Lexy Harris would put an end to the run, converting on a layup after a nice dish from Gregory.

The Bobcat runs kept on coming though, scoring the next nine of 11 points to make it a 22-7 ballgame with just under 11 minutes left to play in the half.

  The Islanders would finally go on a drive of their own, draining eight of the next 10 points to make it a single digit lead for Texas State for the first time since the 14:40 mark. The run was capped off with a nice play by Mbamalu who drove down the lane and made a layup with 8:44 left on the clock in a 24-15 game.

The Islanders shooters then went cold unfortunately. They were not able to hit a shot from the field over the next 7:08 and Texas State was able to jump out to a 34-18 lead with less than two minutes left to play in the half.

Just like she did last week against Tennessee State, Camesha Davis found a rhythm down the final stretch of the first half, hitting a layup and two free throws to cut the lead to 12 going into the half. 

In the first 20 minutes of play, the Islanders were only able to hit six shots, recording a percentage of 21.4 from the field. However, they made nine of 11 from the charity stripe to give them a chance going into the second half.

Things continued to look grim in the early stages of the second half for the visitors, as Texas State would score four of the first five points to start the half, going up by 15.

Jasmine Shaw hit her first field goal of the game, as well as the Islanders first field goal of the half at the 17:24 mark, to trim it back down to a 40-25 game. However, the Bobcats continued to keep the Islanders at bay, opening up a 16-point lead — the biggest of the night — nearly midway through the final half.

This was when the Islanders began to chip away at the lead. A&M – Corpus Christi knocked down four free throws in a row, before Gregory drove the lane to hit a layup to pull her team within 11. Harris recorded the next three points for A&M – Corpus Christi via a free throw followed by a layup to bring the Islanders within single digits for the first time since the score was 24-15 with 8:44 left in the half.

After scoring 10 of the next 14 points, it was Gregory who hit a layup with 3:49 left to give the Islanders their first lead of the game with the score 56-55.

Darley and Brandi Huff both hit jumpers to push the Islanders' lead to five, capping off a 25-4 run over a stretch of nearly nine and a half minutes.

It looked like the Bobcats would not go down without a fight, pulling the game within three on the next possession. However, Huff hit another jumper before Mbamalu hit the dagger, connecting on three to put the Islanders up eight with just 70 ticks left in the game. A&M – Corpus Christi finished off the game at the line to secure its fourth victory, tying as many wins as it had all of last season.

The Islanders will be off for the next week before returning to action on Dec. 5 to play in their first game in the American Bank Center this season. They will tip off against UTSA at 7 p.m.

For the latest team information, like the team on Facebook (Islanders Women's Basketball), and follow the Islanders on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersWBB).