December 29, 2010

Islanders suffer tough loss in opening game of Lady Griz Holiday Classic

MISSOULA, Mont. - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team could not hold on to a lead in the second half as they lost 77-66 to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux on Tuesday night at the Lady Griz Holiday Classic, hosted in Dahlberg Arena by the University of Montana.

The Islanders move to 0-11 on the season while the Sioux improved to 2-8 on the year. Adrienne Scott tied a career high with 17 points on the night while Jessica Jammer added 15 in the contest.

In the first half, the Fighting Sioux struck first and held a nine-point lead at one point before the Islanders cut it to just two heading into the break. The biggest lead came at the 11:24 mark as UND took a 16-7 lead on a made free throw.

They trailed by eight points, 24-16, with 5:09 left in the period before Jammer hit a pair of three-point baskets around a Lauren Smith layup to cut into the lead. Brandi Huff hit four-of-six free throws in the final two minutes of the half to cut the deficit to 30-28 at the break.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi was outrebounded 27-13 in the first half but kept the game close by forcing 16 UND turnovers while committing just eight of their own. Smith was the leading scorer for the team at the break with seven points. Scott and Jammer were second on the team with six apiece.

After starting out slow in the first half, the Islanders came out on fire in the final period, scoring eight points in the first two minutes of the half to take their first lead of the game at 19:14 and extending it to 36-33 before UND called a timeout to stem the tide. With Texas A&M - Corpus Christi taking a 43-33 lead, its largest of the season, the Sioux reeled off 10-straight points to knot the score at 43-43 with 13:01 left to go.

The Islanders regained the lead and extended it to 54-47 at the 9:46 mark following the 10-0 run by UND.

The turning point in the game was at the 4:38 mark when Scott went down on a hard foul and had to leave the game. The Sioux extended their lead from four points all the way to 12 points at 75-63 over the next four minutes to put the game out of reach.

Despite missing the final four-and-a-half minutes of the contest, Scott still tied a career high with 17 points. Jammer led the team in rebounds with eight in the game, in addition to her 15 points. Smith also added double-digit points with 12 before fouling out of the game in the final minute.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi must put the tough loss behind them and focus on Utah Valley. The Islanders and Wolverines square off tomorrow night at 6 p.m. CST in the final game of the tournament for each team. Yannis Koutroupis will call the action on SportsRadio 1230 AM with live stats available through www.MontanaGrizzlies.com.