ISLANDERS END REGULAR SEASON WITH LOSS TO UT ARLINGTON
The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team lost its final game of the regular season to regular season Southland Conference champion UT Arlington by a 78-61 score. Saturday was also senior day for the Islanders as they recognized center Sarah Davidson and team manager Aubrie Lysinger for their contributions to the TAMUCC program.
The Islanders fall to 11-18 overall and 6-10 in SLC action while the Mavericks improved to 20-9, including a 14-2 mark in SLC play.
Deziree Green of the Islanders and Candice Champion of UTA held a shootout on the floor at the American Bank Center. Green scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Islanders but Champion got the better of the battle as she also scored a career-high, netting 34 points to lead the Mavericks to the win.
"We did not do a good job of fronting Champion like we wanted to," said head coach Robert Robinson. "We were not able to limit her touches like we wanted to."
In the first half, Jade Davis opened the game for the Islanders with a three-pointer to give them the early lead. The Mavericks responded with back-to-back buckets from Tamara Simmons and Champion to take a one point lead at 4-3. Myeisha Myles put a layup in to take the lead back at 5-4 early on.
UTA took the lead back but the Islanders would not let them pull away early on, keeping the margin close all the way to 18-14 with 12:47 left in the half. The Mavericks went on a run to take a 31-16 lead at 9:19 left in the first half.
The teams could not do much the rest of the half, as neither team would make a run to close the gap or extend the lead. The teams would go into halftime with the score at 42-30.
In the second half, the Islanders made some key runs to cut into the lead as they got the margin down to seven points at three different times in the second half. With the score at 50-37 in favor of UTA, the Islanders got a three-pointer from Green, a free throw from LaToya Thomas, a pair of free throws each from Green and Davis to cut the lead to seven at 52-45. Champion put the lead to 54-45 with a layin but Myles responded with one of her own to close the lead back to seven at 54-47.
The Islanders were able to keep it to a seven point lead at 59-52 with 8:46 left in the game before the Mavericks went on a run to close out the game. UTA outscored the Islanders 19-9 over the last 8:29 to finish the scoring at 78-61 with Champion getting the bulk of the points.
"We were able to stop Champion at times but we did not do it consistently enough," said Robinson. "We did a good job on her when we were fronting her but could not do it throughout the game."
The Islanders were led in scoring by Green with her 28 while Davis added 13 as the only other Islanders in double digits. Myles had a team-high 10 rebounds while adding eight points.
The Islanders now await their fate as McNeese won earlier in the day, so the season now hinges on the outcome of the Sam Houston at Texas State game. If Sam Houston wins, the Islanders qualify for the tournament as the eighth seed. If Texas State wins, the Islanders are eliminated from contention for the spot. Tipoff of that game is scheduled for a 2 PM start on Sunday afternoon.
"It's a little bit agonizing having to wait and see," said Robinson. "It's never a good thing when you have to leave things in someone else's hands.
"Now we just have to hope for the best."