January 18, 2012

Islanders Clinch Conference Road Win Over UT Arlington, 61-51

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team (6-11, 2-2) put together a 12-0 run with under five minutes left to clinch their first conference road game of the season, 61-51, over UT Arlington (2-13, 0-4), Wednesday night at Texas Hall in Arlington.  

Sophomore Brandi Huff led all scorers with a career-high 14 points and tied a career-best six rebounds. Junior Alisa Roberts pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds, including 11 on the defensive end. She also went 7-of-8 from the line and tallied two assists and two steals to round out her stat line. Zoe Vega-Vega, Imani Dunn, Verne'qua Taylor, and Trish Amboree all chipped in eight points. Vega-Vega also pulled down eight rebounds and Taylor dished out eight assists and tallied five steals in 40 minutes of play.

In a game that featured eight score changes and seven lead changes, the Islanders shot 43.4 percent from the field (23-53) and scored 34 points in the paint, including 10 fast break points. The Islanders' bench outscored the Mavericks 34-20 and tied a season-best 15 steals.

UT Arlington was paced by three players in double-figure scoring, Michelle Rodriguez led the Mavericks with 11 points and Nwanguma Desherra and Bianca Sauls each added 10 points.

The Mavericks jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the game before Taylor put the Islanders on the board with her first jumper of the game. The Mavericks scored three more before Amboree hit her first layup from a dish inside from Vega-Vega. The teams traded buckets before the Islanders went on a mini 4-0 run with baskets from Vega-Vega and Roberts collected a steal and layup to pull the Islanders within three.

The Mavericks pushed the lead back up to seven with back-to-back jumpers, before the Islanders gained momentum and answered with a 10-0 run. Huff hit a layup from Roberts and Amboree triggered her first three from Taylor to start the run. Junior Damequia Montgomery made a free throw and Dunn and Huff each added buckets from Taylor to give the Islanders their first lead of the game, 20-17, at the 6:50 mark.

UTA's Rodriguez added a bucket to cut the lead to one, before the Islanders built a nine-point cushion on an 8-0 run. Dunn, Taylor and Huff each added baskets and Huff and Roberts scored at the free throw line to extend the lead to 28-19.

The two teams traded jumpers before UTA's Sauls made two free throws to bring the Mavericks within five. Dunn tallied her sixth point from Taylor as time expired at the half with the Islanders up 32-25. Huff led all scorers with nine points, Dunn added six and Amboree tallied five. Taylor dished out five assists and led the glass with four rebounds. The Islanders bench outscored the Mavericks 18-6 and scored 22 of their 32 first half points in the paint, including eight fast break points. Sauls led the Mavericks with six points and Takiyah Langford grabbed five rebounds. The Mavericks edged the Islanders 19-18 on the boards.

The Mavericks gained momentum out of the locker room, putting together a 10-2 run to take the 35-33 lead with 16:30 left. Amboree capped the Mavericks run at the 15:40 mark with a three-pointer from the right wing from Roberts to give the Islanders the 36-35 lead. Huff pushed the lead to three with a jumper underneath from Amboree.

The Mavericks cut it within one before Vega-Vega's jumper pushed the Islanders ahead by three. UT Arlington answered with a 5-0 run to take the 42-40 lead with 11:15 left. Montgomery's layup from Vega-Vega tied it at 42. The two teams traded buckets back-and-forth changing leads until Vega-Vega made back-to-back layups to start a 12-0 run to give the Islanders a 53-51 lead with four minutes remaining. During the run, the Islanders made eight free throws to seal the victory.

The Islanders will return home to the Coastal Bend on Saturday, Jan. 21 to host Sam Houston State at the Dugan Wellness Center. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.