The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team scored another thrilling victory over the Sam Houston State Bearkats by an 81-80 final score on Saturday afternoon at the American Bank Center. Elisa Beagle hit the game-winning shot with 10 seconds left to give the Islanders the Southland Conference win on Stripes Court.
The shot also marked the 1000th point of Beagle's career, a milestone reached by just four other Islanders in their careers. She finished with 16 points on the day to go along with seven rebounds, also a team lead. Five Islanders in all scored in double-digits, with Shaye Montgomery and Myeisha Myles scoring 12 apiece, Jade Davis adding 11 points and Adrienne Scott finishing with 10 on the day. Myles shared the lead with Beagle at seven rebounds.
"Elisa came up big for us today, she got all the hustle plays when we needed it, all the rebounds and of course key baskets," said head coach Robert Robinson. "What can you say? She got us over the hump today."
TAMUCC improves to 16-7 on the season and 8-2 in Southland Conference play. The Bearkats fall to 6-16 overall and 3-7 in Southland games.
A back-and-forth first half produced a 38-37 halftime lead for TAMUCC in a period that featured four ties and one lead change. Early on, Sam Houston held an eight-point advantage, jumping out to a 10-2 lead just three minutes into the game. The Islanders worked their way back, tying the game at 14-14 just four minutes later. TAMUCC did not take its first lead of the game until the 7:24 mark of the first half when Montgomery hit a three pointer to put them ahead by a 26-23 score. The Islanders led nearly the rest of the period, being tied at 37-37 with 41 seconds left before a Scott free throw allowed them to regain the lead.
In the second half, each team held eight points leads at one point the half but could never maintain the advantage. There were three ties and six lead changes in an action-packed period to decide the game. At the 9:06 mark of the second half, the Islanders were up 69-61 and threatening to run away with it. The Bearkats kept at it however, tying the game at 71-71 and eventually building a five-point lead.
"Give Sam Houston a lot of credit, they played really well and were hot from outside," said Robinson. "They gave us a heck of a battle and had a lot on the line today."
Down by five with just 1:05 left on the clock, Davis hit a three pointer and the Islanders grabbed a defensive rebound on the ensuing play to setup the decisive score. Beagle was fouled on a shot attempt to send her to the line with TAMUCC down 80-78 and just 15 seconds on the clock. Beagle made her first free throw, missed the second and grabbed her own rebound, immediately putting up the deciding shot from outside the free throw line. The Islanders forced a turnover by the Bearkats and sealed the win without Sam Houston taking another shot.
"It all comes down to senior leadership and how they've been through this before," said Robinson. "When we are faced with these tough situations, they make the key plays they need to."
Next up for TAMUCC is UTSA on Wednesday night in a battle for sole possession of second place in the Southland Conference. Game time is set for 7 PM in San Antonio with Yannis Koutroupis set to call the action for the Islanders.