The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team will have quite a challenge on their hands as they prepare to take on #14 Georgia in the first game of the Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic at 7 PM on Friday evening. The tournament is being held in Hattiesburg, Miss. on the campus of Southern Miss.
"Georgia is going to be really tough and athletic," said head coach Robert Robinson. "They are big and will apply a lot of pressure to us.
"It will be a huge key for us in how we handle that pressure."
The Islanders come into the match up with a 3-0 record on the season after beating Air Force, Alabama and Texas Southern in the first two weeks of the season. They will face the Lady Dogs are 4-0 after wins over #13 Oklahoma, Chattanooga, Rutgers and Alabama State. Georgia last played Alabama State on Wednesday, winning by a 75-48 margin.
"I think we can keep up with them athletically once we get into our offense," said Robinson. "Breaking their press is going to be a huge priority for us."
TAMUCC beat Texas Southern by a 71-62 final last Saturday to stay unbeaten early on in the season. The Islanders led by 20 at halftime before a second half rally closed the gap to as few as five points late in the game. The team kept battling and would not fold under the full court press of TSU to eventually take a hard fought nine point win.
Jade Davis leads the team and is tied for fifth in the conference with 16.0 points per game. Elisa Beagle is averaging 13.3 and is 16th in the Southland while Adrienne Scott is at 12.3 ppg and ranked 19th in the SLC. Beagle and Scott are tied for fifth in the conference at 9.0 rebounds per game.
The second game of the tournament will be determined by the outcome of the games on the first day but will be either against Jackson State or Southern Miss. The winner's of Friday's games will play each other while the losing teams face off against one another on Saturday.
It will be the first significant road trip for the Islanders as the only game away from home was in Houston last Saturday, less than four hours from campus. Robinson is looking for it to be business as usual when his team hits the court on Friday night.
"Most of these kids are juniors and seniors now, they have actually been to this tournament before," said Robinson. "I expect them to come ready to play tomorrow."
Steven King will call all the action on ESPN 1230 while fans will be able to follow live stats by visiting www.southernmiss.com and clicking on the women's basketball schedule.