The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team scored early and often on Saturday afternoon to dismantle the Sugar Bears of Central Arkansas. TAMUCC won an 86-65 final on Stripes Court to open up Southland Conference play.
"Our kids came in focused and ready to go today," said head coach Robert Robinson. "They wanted to make up for letdown against UTPA from the other day and it showed right from the start."
The Islanders improve to 9-5 on the season and 1-0 in Southland play while UCA falls to 10-4 on the year and 0-1 in the SLC. TAMUCC shot 52 percent from the field today, including 59 percent from beyond the three-point line while holding UCA to just 39 percent in the game.
"We took it to them inside early on and were making our shots," said Robinson. "The kids really stepped up to the challenge today."
Deziree Green led the Islanders in scoring for the game, contributing 17 points with 15 of those coming in the first half. Green was 5-of-8 from behind the arc, tying her career-high for made three-point shots. Adrienne Scott added 13 while Shaye Montgomery and Myeisha Myles scored 11 points apiece. All 14 players played with 13 Islanders scoring points in the game. Ashley Darley the only one who did not, playing seven minutes but never attempting a field goal or free throw.
"Dez was amazing today and did what she is capable of doing," said Robinson. "If you leave her open she can hit the three-point shot."
Myeisha Myles opened the game with a lay-up followed by a Scott lay-up and Green's first three of the day to storm out to a 7-0 lead. A Desiree Rogers free throw got UCA on the board at 7-1 and marked the smallest lead of the game that the Islanders would have. At 9-3, Green hit another triple to stretch the lead to nine points.
The lead reached double digits for the first time when Anitra Jeffery hit a pair of free throws to make it 17-5 with 12:34 left in the opening period. After the Sugar Bears cut the lead to eight points with 6:59 left in the half, the Islanders outscored their opponent by a 23-7 margin for a 44-20 halftime lead.
"We were committed to getting stops and that kind of fueled our offense," said Robinson. "It got the kids excited and helped in transition."
In addition to Green scoring 15 points, Scott also was in double digits at 11 points and four rebounds in the first half. Myles led the team at the half with five boards.
Montgomery opened the second half with a lay-up to make it 46-20 and keep the pressure on. She hit a three to give the Islanders a 30-point lead at 58-28 with 14:03 left in the game. The two teams battled hard in a high-scoring second half. The biggest lead of the game came at 71-40 on a LaToya Thomas jumper with 8:49 left on the game clock. From that point on, the Sugar Bears could only get within 21 points as the Islanders made mass substitutions to let some of the younger players see significant game action. The final point came with just seven second left as Jessica Jammer made a free throw, making it 86-65 and becoming the 13th Islander to score in the game.
TAMUCC had 13 players with more than five minutes of game action as Green led the way with 30 on the day. All 14 Islanders recorded at least one rebound, eight players had an assist and six different players had a steal.
"Our kids came ready to play, it was a nice team win today," said Robinson. "It was really good to see in our first conference game."
The Islanders turn their attention to Texas State for the second game of Southland play. The Bobcats will visit the American Bank Center on Wednesday, Jan. 13 for a 7:00 PM tip-off. Yannis Koutroupis will once again call all the action as TAMUCC will look to go 2-0 to start conference play.