Colorado Springs, Colo. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's team suffered its second loss of the season on Friday night against the Drake Bulldogs in their first game of the Air Force Classic. The Islanders lost by a 56-46 final in the tournament being held on the Air Force Academy campus.
The setback brings TAMUCC's record to 4-2 on the season while the Bulldogs improve to 4-2 on the season with the win. The Islanders play Chicago State on Saturday afternoon.
Elisa Beagle recorded her second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead the team on the night. Deziree Green contributed significantly on the defensive end, pulling down a career-high 13 rebounds, breaking her previous high of 11 against Texas State during the 2008-09 season.
The Islanders struggled from the field in the first half, hitting just 28% of their shots (8-29) and going 2-7 from the free throw line. Despite the offensive problems, they were able to keep it close early on in the half with solid defensive play, including three blocks in the first four minutes of the game. Drake made a free throw for the first point of the game before Jade Davis came down the court with a layup to give TAMUCC a brief 2-1 lead.
"We really couldn't get going offensively," said head coach Robert Robinson. "Our guards shot poorly from the field today and didn't do a good job getting it inside to when our post players were open."
"You can't win many games when you shoot 28 percent from the field."
After falling behind 7-4, the Islanders made consecutive shots by Davis and Beagle to take another one-point lead in the early going. It would be the last time they would lead in the first half with the final tie of the period coming at 12-12. From that point on, the Bulldogs would outscore TAMUCC by a 16-8 margin to take a 28-18 lead into the intermission. Beagle led the Islanders in the opening half, scoring seven points to go along with three rebounds and three blocks. Reserve Anitra Jeffery came off the bench as the second-leading scorer with five points in six minutes.
"We spent the majority of our shootaround talking about becoming more mentally tough," said Robinson. "I didn't think we were mentally tough on the court today. We made some runs when we needed to but overall we aren't where we need to be."
Despite the deficit, the Islanders would not go without a fight in the second half. With the lead at 13 points with a 43-30 score, TAMUCC mounted a furious comeback bid to get within three points. A pair of free throws by Adrienne Scott started the rally and was followed by a Green lay-up. Beagle, Jade Davis and a pair of baskets by Scott helped move the score to 45-42 and cut it to just a three point lead.
It was not meant to be though, as Drake went on a run of its own, outscoring the Islanders 11-4 over the final 5:13 of the game to win by a 56-46 final.
"Defensively we held them to 56 points and that should win you most ball games," said Robinson. "We were only able to get 46 and that will not get it done."
Beagle and Davis were the only TAMUCC players to score in double digits with 11 for Beagle and 10 for Davis. Scott was the next closest with eight points on the night. She also added six rebounds in the game.
Next up for the Islanders is a Chicago State team coming off of a 68-48 setback against Air Force. They now sit at 3-6 on the year coming into Saturday's match up. Yannis Koutroupis will call the action on ESPN 1230 AM with live stats available by going to www.goislanders.com and clicking on the women's basketball schedule. Tip-off is set for 3:00 PM Central Standard Time.