ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team saw its streak of four-consecutive road wins to open the season come to an end Saturday, dropping a 75-64 contest to UT Arlington.
This was the Islanders (6-4) first double-digit loss of the season after their first three losses came by an average of just six points.
Unfortunately, the Islanders ran into the best game the Mavericks played all season. Coming into the game, UTA was averaging 33.7 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from behind the arc. This afternoon, the Mavericks shot 55.8 percent overall and 52.9 percent from three-point land.
Jasmine Shaw and Brittany Mbamalu led the team offensively, combining for 39 of the team's 64 points. Mbamalu set a school record with 18 attempted threes, connecting on six of them en route to a career-high 20 points. Shaw hit five threes and scored a total of 19 points.
The combined 11 threes from Shaw and Mbamalu were all the Islanders made on the night out of their 34 attempted threes, which broke the school record of 33 attempts against Arkansas State on Feb. 15, 2004.
The Islanders jumped on the board quick with a layup by Ashley Darley, followed by Shaw drilling a three to put the Islanders up 5-0 less than two minutes into the game.
After the Mavericks got their first bucket of the game, Shaw came right back down on the following possession to can her second triple of the game. A&M – Corpus Christi scored the next six out of seven points to cap off a 14-3 run to start the game with the clock sitting at 13:50.
It was then that it seemed as if the hoop had a lid on it on the Islanders' offensive end, while UTA's bucket seemed to double in size. The Mavericks went on a 26-0 run during the next nine minutes and 48 seconds to open up a 29-14 lead.
During that stretch, the Islanders missed 13 consecutive field goals before Lexy Harris snapped that streak with 4:02 left in the half to cut the lead to 13. On the flipside, after starting off the half 1-8 from the field, UTA sank 10 of its next 22 shots to jump out to the double-digit lead.
After the Mavericks hit a three to push the lead back to 16, Mbamalu hit back-to-back threes to cut it to a 32-22 game with just over two minutes remaining to play in the half.
A pair of free throws by Taryn Gregory after UTA went 1-of-2 on its end cut the lead back to single digits at nine. However, the Mavs hit two free throws of their own before the buzzer on the first 20 minutes of play sounded to make it 35-24 at halftime.
UTA picked up right where it left off to start the second half, scoring the first four points of the half to push the Mavericks' lead up to 15. Just like they have done all season, the Islanders mounted a quick comeback, as they scored the next 10 points to cut the gap to just five with 16:43 left in the contest.
A layup and a three pushed the lead back to six for the Mavericks, before Mbamalu hit a pair of threes to make it a 44-40 game at the 15:05 mark — the closest the Islanders had been since there was 10 minutes left in the first half.
Once again, UTA had a quick answer, connecting on two threes and a jumper to push the lead back to 12. The two squads then traded two buckets and a free throw a piece to leave the score at 57-45 with 8:35 left to play.
After a little luck with a three by Mbamalu banking off the glass and in cut the lead back down to 10, the Mavericks matched it with a three of their own to take their largest lead since the 18:34 mark, leading by 13 with just over six minutes left in the game.
That's when Shaw caught fire, knocking down a layup after an offensive rebound and two threes in a matter of 1:36 to go on an 8-0 run by herself to pull the Islanders within five. Unfortunately, after Alissa Campanero cut it to a one-possession game with less than four minutes left to play, Shaw fouled out after appearing to get a clean steal that would have led to an easy layup.
With Shaw out of the game, UTA went on a 7-2 run to push the lead back to eight with 1:30 left on the clock. The Mavericks then went on to sink their free throws to secure the victory.
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