The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team lost a heartbreaker at the American Bank Center Wednesday night, as it fell by a 76-72 score in overtime to Southeastern Louisiana in a key Southland Conference match up.
The Islanders drop to 10-16 overall and 5-8 in SLC play. The Lady Lions improved to 16-10 while going to 8-5 in league games.
Jade Davis did her best to will the Islanders to victory, pouring in a career-high 33 points, the third-most points in Islander history and most by a player other than Detra Johnson. Shaye Montgomery added 15 points and Deziree Green scored 13 as the three guards were the only Islanders in double-digits, accounting for 61 of the Islanders 72 points scored. Myeisha Myles pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Islanders.
"We knew we could take advantage with our guards penetrating." said head coach Robert Robinson. "The guards did a good job taking advantage of it and made some things happen for us tonight."
In the first half, Myles opened the scoring with a jumper to put the Islanders up 2-0. The two teams played it close early on, going back and forth with the lead changing hands six times in the first 10 minutes of the half. With the scored tied 13-13 with 9:11 left in the first, the Lady Lions took a small lead scoring six of the next eight points to take a 19-15 lead with 5:51 left in the half.
Green hit a jumper to pull within four, followed by a lay up and foul, sinking the free throw to put the score at 21-20 SLU with 4:56 left in the half. The Islanders momentarily took the lead with a Montgomery jumper at 3:33, making it 22-21 TAMUCC before the Lady Lions hit a jumper with 2:59 left to retake the lead. The Lady Lions pushed their lead to 32-26 going into halftime.
"We struggled with the double team early on and didn't get good production on the inside offensively," said Robinson. "The post players weren't being as aggressive as they should have been tonight."
SLU hit the opening shot of the second half to take an eight-point lead at 34-26, but the Islanders would not let it get away from them. Davis hit a lay up to pull within six and Green hit a three-pointer to make the score at 34-31 with 17:16 left to go in regulation. The two teams traded baskets back-and-forth until the Islanders were able to knot the score at 43-43 on a made free throw by Davis with 11:37 left to play.
The Islanders were in the midst of a 12-0 run, going from six points down to up by six when Davis hit a jumper with 10:02 left to play, making it 49-43 TAMUCC. The Islanders were unable to hold the lead however, as the Lady Lions tied the game at 54-54 with 2:46 left to play on a Zevy Ivory basket. Adrienne Scott followed with a jumper to give the Islanders a brief two-point lead before Ivory hit a three-pointer for SLU to put the Lady Lions up one at 57-56.
The Islanders went down two points at 60-58 before a Davis lay up tied it at 60-60 with 30 second left to play. With the Lions hitting another layup with 12 seconds to go, Davis once again held off defeat by hitting a lay up with just three second left to knot it at 62-62 and send the game into overtime.
In overtime, SLU scored the first points on a lay up but were quickly answered with a Davis three-pointer to put the Islanders up one, 65-64. SLU scored the next six points to take a five point lead with 1:24 left in the extra period. Montgomery followed with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to two points at 70-68. The Lady Lions made another basket while Davis once again answered, this time with a three-pointer to cut the lead to one at 72-71 with 23 seconds left to play.
The Islanders fouled Kristy Carlin of SLU and sent her to the line with just eight seconds left. Carlin missed the free throw but Ivory of SLU grabbed the rebound and drew another foul. Ivory sank both free throws to put the margin at 74-71 with six second left. Montgomery was fouled before she could take a three-pointer with just two second left on the clock. After making the first shot, she intentionally missed the second but the Islanders were unable to grab the rebound and were forced to foul once again. SLU hit both of their free throws to put the final score at 76-72.
"The post players didn't box out late in the game on that free throw." said Robinson. "We gave up a game-changing offensive rebound to them late."
The Islanders now face an uphill battle to qualify for the SLC Tournament. They face Stephen F. Austin, Lamar and UT Arlington to end the season. UTA is tied for first in the conference, Lamr is third and SFA is fourth.
"We have to come out and win two-of-three games to get in." said Robinson. "This game tonight would have been huge to give us a little edge in the standings but we could not get it done."