Islanders, Lady Demons Tip Saturday at the American Bank Center
NORTHWESTERN STATE (5-16, 1-7 SLC) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (7-14, 3-5)
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will wrap the first round of Southland Conference play Saturday night when they return to the American Bank Center to take on Northwestern State. The Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday night, downing Nicholls State, to improve to 7-14 overall and 2-2 at home in conference play.
In the Islanders last contest, Zoe Vega-Vega powered the team with her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds and Verne'qua Taylor tallied a career-high 20 points to lift the Islanders to a 70-63 victory over Nicholls State. The Islanders sit at 3-5 in the conference and will continue action against the East Division, before traveling to take on Sam Houston State out of the West Division to begin the second round of league play on Feb. 11.
Northwestern State comes into the game looking for their first conference road win of the season. The Lady Demons hold a 5-16 overall record and are 1-7 in the league with five of those losses coming on the road. Northwestern State sits in last place in the East Division behind Southeastern La. Saturday's game will mark the seventh meeting.
• The Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday night over Nicholls State at the American Bank Center.
• Verne'qua Taylor led all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting and dished out six assists. The junior had totaled 100 assists this season and is seven assists shy of tying the Islanders all-time assists record for a junior. The all-time Islanders record of assists in a season is 179.
• Zoe Vega-Vega tallied her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
• Prior to Wednesday's game the Islanders were 0-7 when at least two players have posted double-digit scoring efforts.
• Texas A&M - Corpus Christi shot a season-high .818 percent (9-of-11) from behind the charity stripe Wednesday.
• Head Coach Robert Robinson has used eight different starting lineups this season.
LAST TIME OUT
Zoe Vega-Vega powered the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team with her third double-double of the season and Verne'qua Taylor tallied a career-high 20 points to lift the Islanders to a 70-63 victory over Nicholls State Wednesday night at the American Bank Center.
Taylor led all scorers with her seventh double-digit scoring game while dishing out six assists and tallying two steals in 36 minutes. Vega-Vega led the glass with 12 rebounds and registered 14 points for the Islanders. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi took the lead with 14:36 to play in the first half and never trailed through the rest of the game.
SCOUTING THE LADY DEMONS
Northwestern State heads into Saturday's game with a 5-16 overall record, 1-7 in conference play and sits at 1-9 on the road. The Lady Demons are 0-5 on the road in Southland Conference action. Northwestern State has dropped four straight and seven of their last eight.
The Lady Demons lone victory in conference action came against UTSA at home. Northwestern State sits in last place in the East Division.
On the season, Northwestern State averages 64.3 points, shoots .390 from the floor (515-of-1321), .282 percent (88-of-312) from three-point range and .638 (233-of-365) from the line.
Individually, the Lady Demons are led by Jordi James with 14.0 points per game. Trudy Armstead is second on the team with 13.0 points per game and leads the team with 9.3 rebounds per game.
Saturday's game will mark the seventh meeting between the two schools with the Islanders claiming the 5-1 advantage. Northwestern State garnered their first victory over the Islanders last season on Feb. 5, 2011. The Lady Demons sealed a 78-59 victory in Natchitoches, La. Prior to that the Islanders sealed five straight wins.
The Islanders are leading the conference with 29.1 defensive rebounds a game and are fifth in offensive rebounds with 14.9.
Myeisha Myles is leading the team on the glass with 7.0 rebounds per game, which is good for 10th place in the conference. Myles has 4.3 defensive rebounds (14th, SLC) and 2.8 offensive rebounds (8th, SLC) while Damequia Montgomery is in 15th place in the conference with 2.4 offensive rebounds.
The Islanders have been a force on the defensive end, tallying 612 rebounds to their opponent's 597.
The Islanders have tallied 17 assists or more in four games this season. They have registered 17 assists in wins against Jackson State, UT Arlington and a loss at SMU. The Islanders dished out a season-high 18 against Southeastern La. The Islanders are in seventh place in the conference with an average of 11.7 assists per game.
Verne'qua Taylor has tallied six or more assists in nine games this season and five of those she had eight or more assists. The junior is seven assists shy of tying the Islanders all-time assists record for a junior. Kirbria Lewis set the record with 107 during the 2005-06 season. The all-time Islanders record of assists in a season is 179 set by Mandie Vinck during the 2002-03 season.
The Islanders sit in sixth place in the conference with 3.2 blocks per game. Myeisha Myles and Jessica Jammer are two of the top shot blockers in the league. Myles leads the way in ninth with 0.9 and Jammer is in 10th with 0.8 a game.
Coach Robinson has used eighth different lineups this season. Myeisha Myles and Verne'qua Taylor are the only two Islanders to have started all 21 games. Nine of the 12 players have made their way into the starting lineup. The most times one set lineup has been used is five games.
This season the Islanders seem to perform better when at least three players have scored double-digit points rather than two. The Islanders are 5-3 when at least three players have scored and 1-7 when at least two have posted double-digit scoring efforts.
The Islanders broke the spell Wednesday night when Zoe Vega-Vega and Verne'qua Taylor both scored in double-figures to power the Islanders past Nicholls State.
Myles and Roberts led the Islanders in double-figure scoring against Texas State. Myles tallied 17, while Roberts added 15. Against SFA, Roberts tallied 17 points and Taylor added 10.
Myles leads the Islanders with 10 double-figure scoring games, Jammer and Taylor each have seven while Anderson-Sparks has tallied six.
Jammer also has two double-doubles apiece this season, while Myles and Vega-Vega each have three.
TALE OF NENE
Verne'qua "Nene" Taylor leads the team at the point guard position and has no problem sharing the ball.
The junior is leading the conference with an average of 4.8 assists a game with a total of 100 assists in 21 games in a team-high 30.9 minutes per game.
Against SMU, the Wharton, Texas native, posted a season-high 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and dished out eight assists while jumpstarting the Islanders scoring in the second half.
The junior registered a balanced attack at Texas State with seven points, six rebounds, five assists and a season-high six steals in 34 minutes. She also tallied 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds in 32 minutes at SFA.
She is averaging 7.1 points per game, 4.1 rebounds and is tied with Alisa Roberts with a team-high 35 steals, which is good for 13th place in the conference. Taylor along with Myles are the only two Islanders to have started all 21 games.
Joining Myeisha Myles as the lone seniors on the team is Zoe Vega-Vega. She is in her second season after transferring from Daytona State College. In the Islanders conference opener against McNeese State, the senior stepped her game up, posting her first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds in her first season start. The senior also tallied two assists, one steal and went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in a season-high 27 minutes.
In the Islanders first conference victory of the season, Vega-Vega notched a double-double with a career-high 15 points and a career-best 15 rebounds in 34 minutes. She was two points and two shy of a double-double against UTA with eight points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes. Vega-Vega powered the Islanders with her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Nicholls State in a career-high 35 minutes.
The senior is averaging 5.2 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game in 18.8 minutes per game.
The Islanders were picked to finish last in the Southland West Division after finishing last in the conference last season.
The Islanders will hit the road to take on Sam Houston State, Saturday, Feb. 11, for a second round matchup at 2 p.m.