CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team used a 22-1 run to overcome a 19-point second half deficit, posting a come-from-behind 59-55 victory over Nicholls on Senior Day at the American Bank Center. The Islanders (18-11, 11-7 Southland) finished in a tie for fourth in the conference just a year removed from a four-win season.
A&M-Corpus Christi will be the No. 6 seed in next week's Southland Conference Tournament, where they will face off with No. 7 seed McNeese State on Thursday, March 13, at 1:30 p.m.
Shola Adebayo led the Islanders with 16 points and four steals, while Alissa Campanero posted 15 points and Kassie Jones added 10. Emani White scored 20 points to lead all scorers in a losing effort for Nicholls (16-13, 11-7), while JonMarie Guillory finished with a game-high 11 rebounds.
Early on, the two teams traded blows back-and-forth, with the Islanders garnering a 7-6 lead on a three-pointer by Campanero at the 15:23 mark. But Nicholls countered with the first significant run of the game, putting together a 10-2 rally to pull ahead, 16-9, on Jenny Nash three at 12:13. The Islanders managed just two free throws during the run, going 0-for-4 with two turnovers.
A&M-Corpus Christi got off the schneid with a Brandi Huff layup, then the teams traded points over the next several possessions to a 27-21 score. Nicholls ran off a 7-0 rally, once again capped by a Nash three, to make it 34-21. The two squads traded points into the locker room to head to the break with the visitors up 36-23.
Out of the locker room, the visitors scored eight of the first 11 points to push the lead to a game-high 19, 44-25, at the 17:58 mark. But the Islanders got consecutive threes from Campanero to cut it back to 13, before Nicholls was able to push the advantage to 16, 49-33, with 13:25 to go.
That's when the Islanders embarked on their fateful 22-1 run, using strong defense to turn a 16-point deficit into a 55-50 lead over a span of 12:13. Adebayo started the rally with a steal and fast-break layup, then added two free throws to cut the lead to 12.
After a Nash free throw, the Islanders scored the next 18 points of the game – seven by Adebayo and six in a row by Kassie Jones – four of which came on fast-break layups. Campanero delivered the dagger – a three from the top of the key that gave the Islanders their first lead since a 7-6 edge in the first half – and Adebayo finished it with a layup with 3:12 to go. During the run, the Islanders held Nicholls to 0-for-9 with 10 turnovers.
The Colonels refused to fade, snapping the string with a Jasmine Scott layup that made it 55-52 with 2:57 left, but Ashanti Plummer came back with a big layup to get it back to a five-point lead. Nash came back once more with a three with 2:15 remaining, cutting it to 57-55. The Islanders were unable to convert on the offensive side, but continued their defensive pressure, forcing turnovers on three straight possessions.
Campanero iced the victory with a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to push the lead to four. Nicholls' final shot went off the mark, and Ashley Darley snared the rebound to finish off the win.
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