Houston - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team is off to its first 3-0 start since the 2004-05 season after a 71-62 win over the Texas Southern Tigers in the Islanders first road game of the season.
Elisa Beagle led all scorers while Beagle and Adrienne Scott both recorded double-doubles in the game. Beagle had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Scott added 15 points and 14 rebounds. The Islanders as a team pulled down 60 rebounds, just eight off the single-game record of 68 set in 2004 against Hutson-Tillotson and held the rebounding edge by a 60-39 margin.
In the first half, the Tigers scored early while the Islanders did so often, racing out to a 16-4 lead at the 13:59 mark and leading 20-10 until there was 10:10 left in the period. Beagle scored 10 of her 17 points in the first half and pulled in seven rebounds while playing 15 minutes. Coming off the bench, Myles did significant damage, grabbing two rebounds in her first minute of game action while totaling seven points and eight rebounds in 14 minutes. The Islanders went into the half with a 39-19 lead behind the strength of the post players.
TAMUCC had 33 rebounds in the half, with 11 of those coming on the offensive end of the floor, to just 14 by the Tigers. In addition to the impressive rebounding statistics, the Islanders shot 55% from the floor in the half while holding TSU to just 26% shooting.
"We knew going in that if were aggressive in the post that we could get Texas Southern into foul trouble," said head coach Robert Robinson. "They aren't very deep in the post so we just kept attacking offensively and things were going very well for us in the first half."
Beagle opened the second half with a pair of lay-ups around a basket by the Tigers to increase the Islanders lead to 22. After the initial points by Beagle, the Islanders struggled early on in the half as TSU mounted a rally. Going into the second media timeout, the Tigers had outscored TAMUCC by a 16-11 score at 50-35 with 11:23 left in the game.
Leading 56-43, baskets by Beagle and Lauren Smith pushed the lead back to 17 points with 7:25 left in the game. A late rally by TSU led by Sarah Stewart's three-point shooting and the inside game of Gabrielle Rosigi took the lead to just seven points at 66-59 with 2:31 remaining. A pair of Shaye Montgomery free throws made it 68-59 and stopped the 15-2 run by the Tigers with 1:49 left in the game.
Jade Davis iced the game on a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left to make it a 71-60 advantage. The Tigers scored with one second left to put the final score at 71-62 in favor of the Islanders.
"We didn't come out and play our style of ball in the second half," said Robinson. "We didn't do a very good job defensively but we were able to get a tough road win.
"That is a sign of a good team."
In addition to Beagle's 17 points and Scott's 15, Myles added 14 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Davis had nine points, Lauren Smith had six and the scoring was rounded out by Deziree Green and Shaye Montgomery with five each.
"I'm thrilled to death that we are 3-0 on the year," said Robinson. "Our kids responded when the officiating didn't go our way and just kept fighting.
"They have grown a lot in the past year and can handle pressure situations much better."
The Islanders return to action next week when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. to take part in the Lady Eagles Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by Southern Miss. TAMUCC will play Georgia on Friday, Nov. 27 and will play either Jackson St. or Southern Miss on Saturday, depending on the outcome of the Friday games.
"Georgia will press us and will be our biggest test of the season," said Robinson. "They will likely be ranked in the Top 25 and have size at every position.
"Winning gives us confidence and I know our team will be fired up facing them."