December 13, 2009

ISLANDERS DOWN INCARNATE WORD IN DUGAN DEBUT

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball won a tough non-conference game over Incarnate Word by a 62-51 final in the teams debut game at the Dugan Wellness Center. The Islanders are now 1-0 all-time in the building as well as 1-0 against the Cardinals as this was the first game ever between the two teams.

TAMUCC improves to 5-3 on the season while the UIW falls to 4-4 on the year. The Cardinals led at halftime but were unable to finish the game against a resilient Islanders team that outscored UIW 39-21 in the deciding period.

"We came out with better effort and intensity in the second half," said head coach Robert Robinson. "It is a nice win for us against a quality Division II team.

"This was a good test for us if we were going to play a DII school."

The Islanders started fast in the first half, scoring the first five points of the game before Incarnate Word got on the scoreboard. With TAMUCC leading 5-0, the Cardinals scored the next eight points to take an 8-5 lead five minutes into the game. The two teams traded baskets over the next seven minutes with a Lauren Smith three pointer giving the Islanders a 13-11 lead at the 8:36 mark of the period. Trailing AMCC by a 17-16 score, the Cardinals outscored the Islanders 14-6 over the final six minutes of the half to take a 30-23 halftime lead.

Beagle kept the Islanders in the game with her eight points in the half, scoring just over a third of the points for TAMUCC while the team shot just 24 percent from the floor. Beagle was 4-for-6 from the floor while also leading the team with six rebounds. Cinnamon Kava scored eight points to lead UIW while LaShae Woodard led all players with seven rebounds in the first half.

"We got great chances early on, I told the kids that I would take those five-foot shots all day long," said Robinson. "We just didn't do a good job of making shots in the first half."

TAMUCC came out on fire in the second half, outscoring the Cardinals 9-2 in the first three minutes on a pair of Deziree Green free throws, a lay-up each by Adrienne Scott and Shaye Montgomery and a three-point play by Green. The final free throw by Green evened the score at 32-32 and put the Islanders right back in the game.

After back-and-forth scoring kept the teams close, the Islanders took the lead for good at the 5:26 mark of the second half. With the game tied at 45-45, Scott made a pair of free throws to give TAMUCC the lead. A lay-up by Jade Davis and another pair of free throws by Scott made the score 51-45 and extended the lead to six points. With UIW fouling to try and extend the game, the Islanders made all eight of their free throw attempts in the final 1:35 of the game to widen the gap and put the game at a 62-51 final. Beagle and Davis made two each while Montgomery added the final four points of the game.

"We had more effort and energy on the defensive end in the second half," said Robinson. "It fueled our offense by getting us some fast break opportunities and we did a better job of attacking them and getting to the foul line.

"Once we got there, we did an outstanding job of making the free throws when we needed them."

Montgomery led the team with 13 points. Davis scored 11 and Beagle finished with 10 as the other two Islanders in double digits. Beagle also led the team in rebounding with nine for the game while Green and Davis added six each. After shooting poorly in the opening period, TAMUCC turned it around to shoot 48 percent (11-23) while holding UIW to just 22 percent (6-27) in the deciding half.

The Islanders are back in action against Texas-Pan American in Edinburg on Dec. 19 in the final game before the holiday break. TAMUCC will play twice more before the end of the year. They have a home game against Houston on Dec. 28 and a Dec. 30 meeting with Colorado State.