The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team came up just short of completing a furious rally late in the game against Texas-Pan American. A last-second three-point prayer by Lauren Smith was straight on but came up just short of the hoop as time expired to give the Broncs a 56-53 victory.
The Islanders fall to 2-6 on the season while the Broncs improve to 5-4 on the year.
Early on, TAMUCC was unable to get in a rhythm while committing several unforced errors.
"We did a good job of stopping their offensive sets." said Islander head coach Robert Robinson. "We just made too many mistakes early on and made it harder on ourselves."
The Islanders fell behind 7-0 before breaking though with a pair of Jade Davis free throws to bring it to 7-2. The Broncs quickly answered back to make it 9-2.
The very next trip down the court, Lauren Smith netted a three pointer from the corner to make it 9-5 UTPA.
After a single made free throw by the Broncs, back-to-back buckets by Davis and Sarah Davidson brought the Islanders within a point at 10-9.
UTPA quickly answered back with a buzzer-beating three point shot to push the lead to 13-9.
The Broncs extended their lead to as many as 11 at 24-13 before back-to-back three pointers by Davis cut the score to 24-19. A jumper by Davidson with 3:26 left in the half cut the lead down to three at 24-21.
Trailing 28-21 with a little more than a minute left in the half, Adrienne Scott made an acrobatic, falling away shot while being fouled to make it 28-23. Scott would miss the free throw.
UTPA answered back with a falling away shot of its own with less than one second left to make it 31-23 at halftime.
The two teams came out firing in the second half, combining for 10 points in less than three minutes, with the Broncs extending their lead to 38-26 to force an Islanders timeout.
A turnaround jumper by Davidson cut the deficit to 10 at 39-29 just before the media timeout at 15:46.
After Davis made the front end of a one-and-one, Adrienne Scott pulled down the rebound and Myles ended up converting the basket to bring it to 43-32. Lauren Smith hit a jumper to make it 43-34.
Lauren Smith cut the deficit to nine on a pair of free throws to make it 45-36. After a media timeout at 7:38, Diandra Torres made a pair of free throws to make it 45-38.
A flurry of activity in the last four minutes of the game quickly ratcheted up the tension.
"I thought the last couple of minutes of the game we played well." said Robinson. "We needed to play a more complete game out there tonight."
After a made layup by Green, Smith stole the inbound pass and dished to Scott for the layin to cut the score to 51-44. After the Broncs inbounded the pass safely, pressure from the Islanders caused a Broncs player to travel and once again turn the ball over to TAMUCC.
Despite not being able to convert the possession into points, the Islanders once again forced a turnover by UTPA to gain possession on the offensive side of the court. Scott drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws to bring the score to within 51-46 with 3:51 left in the game.
On the ensuing Broncs possession, the Islanders forced a fourth consecutive turnover. After being fouled on her way to the basket, Myles made one of two free throws to pull to within 51-47.
At 1:53 left in the game, a Davis three-pointer cut the deficit to a single point at 51-50. UTPA quickly answered with a fastbreak layup to push the margin to 53-50 before calling a timeout with 1:34 left.
A pair of Broncs free throws put the lead at 55-50 but on the next trip down the court, Davis hit another big three pointer to get back within a pair at 55-53.
After an Islander foul, UTPA made one-of-two free throws to take a 56-53 lead. The Islanders brought the ball down court before calling a timeout with 11 second left to set up the final play of the game.
Davis put up a three-pointer that was off the mark for what looked to be the final shot of the game, but the rebound went to the Islanders with 0.9 seconds left.
On the final inbounds play, the Islanders forced the ball in to not get a five-second violation with the ball finding its way into the hands of Smith. With hardly any time to react, Smith grabbed the ball as quickly as possible and heaved up a prayer from the top of the key.
The shot was straight-on but came up just short of the intended destination, falling to the ground to end the game at 56-53 in favor of UTPA.
Davis led all Islanders with 17 points on the night. Smith came off the bench to be the second-leading scorer with nine points. Smith also led the team in rebounds with seven on the night.
The Broncs out rebounded the Islanders by a tally of 39-31.
"They were killing us on the boards." said Robinson. "That led to easy put backs and too many second chances."
TAMUCC next plays in the UNF Lady Osprey Holiday Tournament on Dec. 17 and 18. The Islanders take on Jacksonville State on the 17th and tourney-host North Florida on the 18th.