CORPUS CHRISTI – Jasmine Shaw has hit 63 threes this season, but none were bigger than the one she canned on Thursday with just three seconds left to propel the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team to a vital 45-42 win against the Southland Conference leader Central Arkansas.
Shaw came up just short of her third consecutive 20-point game, posting a game-high 19 points. No one else for A&M – Corpus Christi (13-11, 6-7 SLC) hit double digits, as the team shot just 28.3 percent from the field. However, the Islanders locked down UCA (15-8, 9-3) to hold them to just 31.5 percent from the field.
Courtney Duever, who averages a double-double in conference play, recorded another with 13 points and 10 rebounds, but this was significantly less than the 24 points and 15 rebounds she had in her first outing against the Islanders.
A&M – Corpus Christi battled a physical Sugar Bears team until the end, outrebounding them 41-36, while both teams had 18 points in the paint.
The first half featured some stifling defense by the Islanders, as they allowed only 15 points, which was the least in any half against a Southland Conference opponent. It also marked the fewest points allowed in a first half since Feb. 22, 2005 when Texas-Pan American also scored 15 in the first 20 minutes of play.
The first points for either side took more than two minutes to be recorded, with a Shaw jumper finally getting the scoring going. Camesha Davis got the second bucket of the game, as she drove to the hoop to put the Islanders up 4-0 at 16:32.
The Islanders got two more buckets before the Sugar Bears finally got their first points at the 10:35 mark to make it an 8-2 ballgame.
However, Ashley Darley came right back with a layup on the next possession off a back screen to put the Islanders back up by eight.
The shots started falling for UCA, though, as it went on an 8-2 run of its own over the next three minutes and 43 seconds to pull within two.
After the teams traded field goals, Shaw hit her first three of the game after hitting six her last time out to extend the lead back to five before Campanero drove to the rim for a layup to give the Islanders a 19-12 lead with just more than three minutes remaining.
The defense was tight the rest of the way, as the only other shot that fell in the half was a three by Micah Rice after the defense crashed on Duever before she kicked it out to the open Rice. This made it a 19-15 game heading into the half.
It didn't take long for the Sugar Bears to get in the scoring column in the second half, with Brianna Mullins converting on a layup just eight seconds into the final 20 to pull within two.
It wasn't until the 17:02 mark that the first free throws in the game were attempted. With the lead still at two for the Islanders, Alissa Campanero converted on both to double the lead, making it 23-19.
The Sugar Bears came charging back, scoring six of the next seven points to take a one-point lead — their first of the game — with 14:11 left to play.
After UCA extend the lead to three, Shaw knocked down a jumper with her toe just on the edge of the three-point arc to make it 27-26 at 12:26. However, the Islanders went cold over the next four and a half minutes, seeing the Sugar Bears extend their lead to six with 7:48 left.
The Islanders got some shots to fall though, going on an 8-1 run over the next 2:30, as a Shaw three capped it off and resulted in the first tie of the game at the 6:23 mark.
The teams then went bucket for bucket, keeping the score knotted with just 2:20 left in the half.
With the clock under the one-minute mark the Sugar Bears had taken a two-point lead before Shola Adebayo drew a foul and stepped up to the line to hit two clutch free throws to tie the game with just 40 ticks left.
The defense then stepped up one more time, before Shaw provided the heroics to seal the biggest win of the season.
The Islanders will be right back in action on Sunday, hosting Oral Roberts at 1 p.m. in the ABC.