ISLANDERS DOMINATE CARDINALS IN FINAL HOME GAME OF SEASON
The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team got a huge win on senior night at the American Bank Center while setting a new regular season attendance record with their "Go Blue For $2" promotion. The Islanders won a 79-64 game over the league-leading Lady Cardinals in front of 3,819 fans, second only to the 4,510 record set in 2005 against Fresno State in a postseason WNIT game.
"Anytime you can get a loud atmosphere, it is an advantage," said head coach Robert Robinson. "Our kids feed off the crowd and it really helped us tonight."
The Islanders improve to 19-9 overall and 11-4 in Southland games. The Cardinals fall to 22-7 and 12-3 in the league. TAMUCC is now one game back with just one to play and would need a win over UT Arlington this weekend coupled with a loss by Lamar and Stephen F. Austin to win a share of the conference championship.
Senior Elisa Beagle had one of the best nights of her career on senior night, scoring 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season and 26th of her career. Jade Davis added 22 points to lead all scorers on the night. Senior LaToya Thomas reached a new career-high with five rebounds in eight minutes of action.
"Jade and Elisa have been there for us all year long," said Robinson. "We just played a great team effort, one of our better defensive efforts of the year."
The Islanders never trailed in the game, leading wire-to-wire and outscoring the Lady Cardinals 33-26 in the first half. Coach Robinson began the game with a first-ever lineup, starting all five seniors, Beagle, Thomas, Diandra Torres, Deziree Green and Shaye Montgomery, as the team came out on fire. They took a nine-point lead at 14-5 with all five seniors on the floor and continued to out-work and out-hustle Lamar in a game that was a must-win for their title hopes. They led by as many as 14 points in the half before taking a seven-point cushion into halftime.
"I wanted to surprise our seniors by starting all five in the game," said Robinson. "They really gave us a huge lift early on."
In the second half, it was more of the same as TAMUCC built a 20-point lead before Lamar made it close late in the game. The Lady Cardinals got to within eight points before the Islanders built the lead back up to 15 by the end of the game, outscoring Lamar 46-38 in the second period for a 79-64 final.
"In addition to sending our seniors off on a strong note," said Robinson. "We also sent a message to the league that we are going to be a problem to deal with at the tournament."
TAMUCC will travel to UT Arlington for the season finale on Saturday against the Lady Mavs with tip-off set for 1 PM.