The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team suffered a gut-wrenching loss on Saturday night, falling by a 69-68 final to Stephen F. Austin in a battle for second place in the Southland. Jade Davis was unable to convert the first of two free throws with just 1.8 seconds left as the Islanders were trying to tie the game.
TAMUCC falls to 18-9 on the season and 10-4 in the Southland Conference schedule. SFA improves to 16-9 overall and 11-3 in Southland games.
Davis scored 23 points in the game but was unable to hit the front end of a pair of free throws after being fouled with 1.8 seconds left in regulation. After hitting the first free throw off the back of the rim, Davis sank the second one but the Islanders were unable to foul before the clock ran out.
Elisa Beagle recorded her eighth double-double of the season after scoring 13 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Deziree Green scored 10 points as the final of the three Islanders in double digits.
Tammara Marion scored 20 points for the Ladyjacks while Antoinette Davis added 14 as the only SFA players in double digits. Davis also grabbed 11 rebounds to record a double-double.
In the first half, it was a back-and-forth affair the entire time as neither team led by more than six points. In the second half, the Ladyjacks went on an 18-4 over a five minute span to go from down one to up 13 points, 57-44, at the 8:52 mark.
With the score 61-48 with 7:14 left in the game, the Islanders went on a run of their own, outscoring SFA 20-8 the rest of the way but falling one point short of tying it up. Green started the run by scoring the first seven points to cut the lead to six points at 61-55 with 4:49 left. The Islanders traded points to 65-59 before a three-point play by Davis cut the lead to just three points with 1:48 to go. SFA made a lay-up that was answered with a pair of Davis free throws.
After a pair of Ladyjack free throws extended the lead back to five, Shaye Montgomery hit her only three-point shot of the night to close to within two points with 10 seconds left. After a missed SFA free throw allowed the Islanders to get the ball back, Davis drew a foul and headed to the line with just two ticks left on the clock but was unable to convert both shots. SFA inbounded the ball and ran out the clock for the dramatic victory.
"I applaud the kids' effort on the comeback," said head coach Robert Robinson. "They could have laid down like last year's team but they fought back and had a chance at the end."
TAMUCC out-rebounded the Ladyjacks 52-39 but were done in by turnovers. The Islanders committed 24 turnovers and were outscored 26-8 in points off of turnovers.
Despite the setback, the Islanders still have a huge game with Lamar coming up on Wednesday night. The Lady Cardinals are currently first in the Southland standings with just two games left to play. The Islanders look to help their title hopes with a win as well as set a new attendance record for a women's contest. The all-time record is 4,510 against Fresno State in the WNIT during the 2004-05 season.
"We'll have to have a little help to have a chance to win the conference championship but our ultimate goal is to get to the NCAA tournament," said Robinson. "It takes three wins in the tournament to win it and I think our team knows after tonight that they can beat anyone in the conference on any given night."
Tip-off for the game is set for 7 PM and will have Yannis Koutroupis calling the action on KCCT 1150 AM. Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.