August 30, 2010

ISLANDERS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SETS 2010-11 SCHEDULE

The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will face seven opponents who participated in postseason a year ago as the Islanders look to compete for the 2010-11 Southland Conference Championship.

The Islanders will host a tough contingent in the season-opening Islanders Tip-Off Tournament with both Iowa and Southern having participated in the NCAA Tournament last season. They will be joined by Arkansas State to round out the tournament on Nov. 12-13 at the American Bank Center (ABC).

"Playing at home is always huge for our kids," said head coach Robert Robinson. "Our fan support has been amazing ever since I have been here and I expect that to continue."

Following the season-opening home games, the Islanders will take to the road five-straight road games in the pre-conference schedule. The team travels to Lawrence, Kan. to take on Kansas, an NIT team from a year ago, at the historic "Phog" Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 17 before coming back to Texas for a Nov. 20 road game against Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.

The Islanders then play in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo. on Nov. 27-28. The team will play Boise State and Colorado State in the tournament. On Dec. 5, the Islanders end the five-game road trip against Houston.

"We have a really tough preseason schedule," said Robinson. "With the upper classmen we have coming back I think they will be up to the challenge, especially coming off of a good year last year.

"They still have a lot to prove once we get into conference play and are battling for a Southland Conference title."

After returning home for a single game against St. Edward's at the Dugan Wellness Center (DWC), the Islanders take to road for back-to-back tournaments. On Dec. 20-21, the Islanders will take on Robert Morris followed by a game against either Florida or Alabama State in the Gator Holiday Classic. Robert Morris and Florida both participated in last year's NIT Tournament.

The final preseason tournament comes just before the New Year when the Islanders play North Dakota and Utah Valley on Dec. 28-29 in Missoula, Mont. at the Lady Griz Holiday Classic.

"These early tests for us in the preseason schedule are a way to get us ready for conference play," said Robinson. "Playing good quality teams and having to compete at a high level against those teams is going to help us prepare for conference play."

The New Year will see will see Texas-Pan American come to town on Jan. 5 for a return game before the start of Southland Conference play. First up for the Islanders will be McNeese State on Jan. 8 at the American Bank Center.

Following road games at UTSA and Southeastern La., the Islanders will face UT Arlington in the second of four games at the DWC on campus on Jan. 19. After a single road game against Sam Houston State, the Islanders return to the DWC for a game on Jan. 26 against Texas State.

"We have a couple more games here in Dugan Wellness Center," said Robinson. "The environment was really outstanding last season, and I'm looking forward to playing a couple of more games on campus this year."

The Islanders are back in the ABC on Jan. 29 for a game against last year's Southland regular-season co-champion and NIT participant Stephen F. Austin before a two-game road swing through Louisiana. Feb. 2 will see the Islanders play at Nicholls in Thibodaux, La. before heading north for a Feb. 5 contest in Natchitoches, La. against Northwestern State.

Sam Houston State comes to town on Feb. 12 while the Islanders travel to San Marcos on Feb. 16 to take on Texas State. A home game against Lamar, the Southland's NCAA representative from a year ago, is on tap for Feb. 19 at the DWC followed by a home contest against UTSA at the ABC on Feb. 23.

The Islanders will travel to face Stephen F. Austin and UT Arlington in road games before coming home to end the season on Mar. 5 against Central Arkansas.

The Southland Conference Tournament will be held from Mar. 8-11 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy.