CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team notched a win in its final nonconference game with an 84-64 victory against Huston-Tillotson on Monday in the American Bank Center.
The Islanders had a solid performance from several players, as four players posted double figures. Brandi Huff lead the way with a career-high 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Ashley Darley also achieved the same feat with a career-high 14 boards with 10 points to boot.
The team as a whole shot the ball, shooting above a 50 percent clip for the first time this season, going 29-of-56 from the field. The Islanders dominated the Lady Rams on the glass, pulling down 52 boards compared to HTU's 35. The only area the Islanders struggled with were turnovers, coughing it up 27 times on the night. However, they did have a season-high 24 team assists.
For yet another game, A&M – Corpus Christi controlled the tip and Shaw found an opening in the lane to give the home team the lead just four seconds into the game. Brittany Mbamalu then drilled a three to extend the lead to 5-0 less than 30 second in.
Huston-Tillotson responded with a three of its own before Lexy Harris — who earned her second start of the year — received a nice pass from Shaw and laid it up to make it a 7-3 lead at 17:41.
The Lady Rams charged back to tie it at seven, but a three by Shaw and two layups by Islanders saw A&M – Corpus Christi push its lead to seven. However, HTU began to fill it up, scoring the next 14 out of 15 points to jump out to a 21-17 lead nearly midway through the first half.
A layup by Gregory brought the Lady Rams' run to a halt, followed by back-to-back threes by Mbamalu who came off the bench after suffering an injury earlier in the game. With the two treys the Islanders found themselves back on top by two.
Nearly four minutes later Darley hit a layup to cap off a 16-4 run to put the Islanders up 33-25 with 6:22 left to play in the half.
A HTU three pulled the visitors back within five, but a pair of free throws by Harris and a shot from behind the arc for Alissa Campanero opened A&M – Corpus Christi's lead up to double digits for the first time of the game. Two free throws by Brandi Huff shortly after made it a 40-28 game with just over four minutes left to play in the half.
A pair of jumpers by the Lady Rams cut the lead back to eight, but the Islanders recorded the final six points of the half to open up their biggest lead of the game. A&M – Corpus Christi went into the locker room up 46-32.
HTU hit a free throw to open up the half before the teams traded buckets to make it 48-35 with 18:47 left to play. Shaw then hit a jumper, followed by an old-fashioned three-point play for Huff to open up an 18-point lead.
Another Huff jumper extended it to a 55-35 game at the 15:56 mark. However, the Lady Rams scored the next six points to trim the deficit to 14.
After nearly a three-minute streak without a field goal for the Islanders, Huff snapped the drought with a layup. She then hit one a little over a minute later to push the lead back to 59-41 with 11:32 left in the game.
A 2:32 scoreless streak for A&M – Corpus Christi followed, but the Lady Rams could only muster four points over that time to keep their deficit at 14. A Shaw three made it a 62-45 game, but HTU answered with a three of their own to make it a 64-48 game under the eight-minute mark.
However, this is the closest the Lady Rams got the rest of the way out, as the Islanders pushed the lead to as much as 24. The final two points of the game for the home team were scored by Doshi Davis, who hit two free throws to notch her first points in an Islander uniform.
A&M – Corpus Christi will now set its sites on Southland Conference play, as the Islanders will head to Conway, Ark., for a 5:30 p.m. tilt with Central Arkansas on Thursday.