HAMMOND, La. - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team was unable to hold onto a second half lead on Saturday afternoon, suffering an 80-73 Southland Conference loss to Southeastern Louisiana at the University Center.
The Islanders are now 2-14 on the season and fall to 0-3 in Southland Conference play. The Lady Lions improved to 9-5 on the season overall and 1-1 in league play.
Adrienne Scott scored a career-high 21 points in the game while Anitra Jeffery scored 16 in the game. Ashley Darley added 15 points and a career-high six steals, but it was not enough as SLU overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half to pick up its first Southland win of the season.
In the first half, the Islanders opened the scored on a Scott layup but saw the Lady Lions score the next six points to fall behind 6-2 with just over five minutes off the clock. A three pointer by Taryn Gregory cut the deficit to three points at 8-5 as the team scored seven of the next 11 points to even the score at 9-9 with 12:55 left before halftime.
With the score tied, the Lions made a 6-0 run over a span of 34 seconds to take a 15-9 lead. Following the momentary lapse, the Islanders proceeded to score 8-of-10 to even the score at 17-17 on an Jeffery three-point play. Jeffery added six more quick points to help Texas A&M - Corpus Christi take a 25-19 lead. Gregory answered an SLU basket with her second three pointer of the game to extend the lead to 28-21 at the 4:55 mark. The Lions closed to within three points at 32-29 before a 7-1 run ended the half with the Islanders leading 39-30 following five points from Scott and a bucket from Jeffery.
Scott led her team in scoring at the break with 12 points to go along with a team-high six rebounds. Jeffery was right on Scott's heels with 11 points while Jessica Jammer was second in rebounds with five in the opening period. As a team, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi out-rebounded SLU by a 24-19 margin and had six steals compared to four for the Lions. They made their biggest mark from the free throw line, making 13-of-15 as their aggressive play help draw fouls and get the Islanders to the line.
SLU came out in the second half and scored the first four points to cut the lead to five at 39-34, but Texas A&M - Corpus Christi got a three from Jammer and a three-point play from Darley to earn a 45-34 lead, their biggest of the day.
The turning point of the game was with 10:39 left as SLU made a layup and drew a personal foul from Jeffery. Jeffery disagreed with the call and was assessed a technical foul as well. The Islanders entered the sequence leading 59-49, but when the Lions were finished, they cut the lead in half at 59-54 with over a half of basketball to play. They used the momentum gained from the technical, tying the game at 61-61 before taking a 63-61 lead with 7:28 left in the game. It was their first lead since the 8:35 mark of the first half.
SLU extended the lead to as many as eight before the Islanders closed to within three points, 75-72, with 1:12 left in the game. They were unable to convert the next trip down the court and were forced to foul the rest of the way, allowing the Lions to take an 80-73 win.
The three double-digit scorers for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi were also the three team members to foul out in the second half as Scott, Jeffery and Darley each picked up five on the day. As a team, the Islanders fell behind on the boards and were out-rebounded 43-38 by the end of the game.
The team returns home this coming week in search of a win against UT Arlington. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will host the Lady Mavs on Wednesday night at the Dugan Wellness Center. The January 19 game is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff and will be the second game of four scheduled this season for the on-campus venue.