HOUSTON, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team was able to hold off a strong push by Texas Southern, to go along with some senior heroics, to pick up a 71-69 win Thursday.
After the Lady Tigers capped off a 13-2 run with a desperation three bouncing off the glass and in to tie the game, Taryn Gregory got the ball at the point with three seconds left and drove all the way to the rim, connecting on the layup at the buzzer to propel the Islanders to victory. The win kept the Islanders' road record unblemished, moving it to a perfect 4-0.
Senior Jasmine Shaw had it going, especially in the first half, as she added five points to her career best, scoring 28 on the night. She had 21 in the first 20 minutes of play before TSU kept her to seven in the second half.
Shaw made her way into the Islanders' record book, knocking down seven threes — six in the first half — to tie her with Shaye Montgomery who hit seven against TCU on Jan. 2, 2010.
The string of games in double figures continued for Brittany Mbamalu, as she had 11 on the night. Mbamalu tied a school record herself, as she attempted 13 threes, becoming the first Islander to do so since Anna Hartzell did against Louisiana-Lafayette all the way back on Nov. 23, 2002.
Also having a big game was freshman Camesha Davis, who set a career high of her own, going 5-of-7 from the field with one free throw to score 11 on the night. She also contributed five boards in the game.
As a team, the Islanders did a good job of moving the ball, notching a season-high 19 assists. Gregory led the team in the category with nine to go along with her game winner.
It was quick start to the game for the Islanders, as they won the tip and blew past the Lady Tiger defense to go up 2-0 just seconds into the matchup. A&M – Corpus Christi then scored the next 7-3 points to find itself with an early 9-3 lead just over three minutes into the game. However, the Lady Tigers came right back to score the next six points to tie the game at nine.
Over the next few minutes, Camesha Davis knocked down a pair of jumpers and Shaw canned her first triple of the games, but the Lady Tigers kept pace, with the score still at a tie, this time at 20 with 8:33 left in the half.
TSU went on to score the next seven out of nine points to open up its biggest lead of the game, as the Lady Tigers were up 27-22 with 6:45 left, forcing head coach Royce Chadwick to call a time out.
Out of the timeout the teams traded a free throw to keep the lead at five for the home team, but then Shaw took over. In less than two minutes of play, Shaw knocked down four threes and a free throw to completely change the complexion of the game, giving the Islanders a 36-30 lead with 4:06 left to play in the half.
Ashley Darley and Mbamalu continued the momentum, hitting a jumper and a three, respectively, to give A&M – Corpus Christi an 11-point lead with 3:13 left in the first half.
However, TSU went on a much-needed 7-1 run to close out the first half to cool off the Islanders and cut the gap to just five.
It looked as if Shaw had transferred the fire over to Mbamalu to start the second half, as she came out of the locker room and canned two threes to extend it to a 48-37 lead less than two minutes into the half.
The Islanders continued the barrage of offense, scoring eight more points to complete a 14-0 run to start the second half, opening up a 19-point lead with 15:40 left to play.
The Lady Tigers would not go down without a fight though, as they came roaring back to score the next 17 out of 19 points to make it a 58-54 game, completely stifling the Islanders' momentum.
Once again, it was Shaw providing the answer for the visitors, knocking down another three, followed by a layup off of a steal to extend the lead back to nine. Brandi Huff then added two free throws to make it 65-54 with 6:35 left on the clock.
Later, Shaw hit yet another bucket that looked like it might seal the game, as it put A&M – Corpus Christi up by 13 with less than five minutes left to go.
However, the Islanders went cold while the Lady Tigers turned up the heat. TSU scored the next 13 points to tie the game before Gregory provided the heroics with the first Islanders' bucket since the 4:40 mark to win the game.
A&M – Corpus Christi will now play its last game before the Christmas break, as it travels north for a matchup on Saturday against UT Arlington, with that game scheduled to tip off at 3:30 p.m.
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