TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (0-2) AT UTSA (2-0)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will continue their road trip Friday, Nov. 16, when they face former Southland opponent UTSA in San Antonio, Texas. The Islanders are looking for their first victory of the season after dropping their season opener at home against Belmont and their first road trip at Texas - Pan American. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will embark on its third game in six days.
Head Coach Royce Chadwick is in his first year as the Islanders' Head Coach. Chadwick, who spent the previous 11 years at the helm of the Marshall University program, has 561 wins on his collegiate coaching resume.
The Islanders return 10 letterwinners and features five newcomers, three freshmen and two transfers. The Islanders finished the 2011-12 with a 9-20 record and 5-11 in the conference.
UTSA will continue its homestand on Friday. The Roadrunners outscored their opponents 156-63 in their first two games to open the season 2-0. UTSA clinched a 68-34 victory vs. Texas - Pan American in their season opener and followed it with a 88-29 victory vs. Concordia Texas. Friday will mark the 17th meeting between the two teams.
•Ashley Darley registered 17 points, one shy of her career best. She went 8-of-12 from the field and added five steals and five rebounds in the Islanders' 65-77 loss to UTPA on Tuesday.
•Janae Blount added 13 points, her second straight game of scoring in double figures.
•The Islanders led 31-23 at the half but was outscored 54-34 in the second half against the Broncs.
•Coach Chadwick used a different starting lineup on Tuesday at UTPA. Darley is the only one to make starts in both games.
•Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will be competing in their third game in six days.
• Verne'qua Taylor dished out 141 assists in 2011-12 which set the Islanders' all-time assist record as a junior. She led the Southland Conference in assist average with 4.9 per game.
• Alisa Roberts was No. 11 in the Southland Conference in three-point percent shooting .323.
• Chadwick has a career record of 561-302 (.650) in stops at Marshall, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Oklahoma Panhandle State and Howard Junior College.
• In 20 years at the Division I level, Chadwick holds a 365-237 (.606) record and seven NCAA Tournament appearances.
• Three out of the five newcomers come to the Island University from out-of-state. Freshman Janae Blount is from Washington, D.C., freshman Ashanti Plummer is from Manhattan, N.Y. and sophomore transfer Janae Lyde is originally from Albany, N.Y.
SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS
UTSA, a former member of the Southland Conference is now in its first year with the WAC. UTSA topped Texas-Pan American 68-34 and followed it with an 88-29 victory on Monday at home vs. Concordia Texas. The Roadrunners are at home for their first five out of six games.
Miki Turner, Akunna Elonu, and Ashley Spaletta lead the Roadrunners in points. Turner averages 9.5 a game while Elonu and Spaletta register 9.0 a game. Elonu also leads the glass with 7.5 rebounds per game.
UTSA is outscoring its opponents 156-63 and is powering the glass 101-74. The team is also outscoring its opponent in steals 34-12.
The Roadrunners hold the 10-6 all-time series over the Islanders. Last season, UTSA topped the Islanders 58-38 in the Southland Conference opener at the American Bank Center. Brandi Huff led the Islanders with eight points while Imani Dunn and Damequia Montgomery each added five apiece.
In the second game between the two schools, the Islanders dropped a 72-58 decision in San Antonio. Jessica Jammer tallied her 10th double-figure scoring game with 12 points, two blocks and three steals. The Islanders took a 34-33 halftime lead but was outscored 39-24 in the second half.
The Islanders were picked to finish eighth in the Southland Conference Coaches' Poll after finishing with a 5-11 conference record last season.
Freshman guard Janae Blount averaged 10.2 points per game at Howard D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C. Freshman post Ashanti Plummer has added some inside presence after averaging 18.1 points per game during her senior season while pulling down 13.6 rebounds. Freshman Zenobia Winbush and junior transfer Morgan Schwartz have added height to the Islanders roster. Winbush led her team in scoring and rebounding during her senior season at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas. Schwartz transferred from Midland CC where she played two seasons under head coach Ron Jones. Rounding out the newcomers is Janae Lyde who is a sophomore transfer from Texas Southern.
In the exhibition, Plummer led the newcomers with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field. Plummer and Schwartz both pulled down five rebounds apiece.
Blount had an impressive performance vs. Belmont in the season opener. The freshman scored a team-high 14 points and went 3-for-6 from behind the arc. She also dished out a team-high four assists in 30 minutes of play. She followed that performance with 13 points at UTPA. She is leading the team with 13.5 points per game in 29.0 minutes per game.
Leading the way this year is redshirt junior Ashley Darley. After sitting out last season with a medical redshirt, the Corpus Christi native is leading the returners with 12.5 points per game. She has also chipped in seven steals in 22.5 minutes per game.
During the Islanders lone exhibition, Darley tallied 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting and recorded six steals, five rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. She also went a perfect 4-for-4 from the line. On Tuesday, Darley was one shy of her career high 17 points.
Marquesha Anderson-Sparks is second on the team out of the returners with 7.0 points per game. She also is perfect 7-for-7 at the charity stripe.
Leading the boards is Brandi Huff with 6.0 rebounds per game and Jessica Jammer is second with 5.0 per game.
Royce Chadwick is the fourth coach in Islanders' history to make his debut on the sidelines. He holds 561 wins on his collegiate coaching resume and seven NCAA Tournament bids. Chadwick is familiar with the Southland Conference after coaching stints at Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State. He holds a .829 career winning percentage in Southland Conference games. Chadwick was named the Southland Coach of the Year in 1997. He has 28 years of experience coaching women's college basketball and four career wins in the NCAA Tournament.
Roxanne White joins Chadwick on the sidelines as the Islanders' Associate Head Coach. White served on Chadwick's staffs at Marshall and Stephen F. Austin. White was Marshall's recruiting coordinator for all 11 years she was at the school and was the associate head coach for 10 of those seasons. The Stephen F. Austin alumna was an assistant for Chadwick for five years at SFA and also spent a year with Texas A&M.
Darren Brunson also makes his Islanders' coaching debut this season as the Islanders Assistant Coach. Brunson comes to the Island University after spending the past three years as the associate head coach and team's recruiting coordinator at Texas Southern.
Geoff Grawn joins the three of them on the sidelines and enters his 11th season on the Islanders' staff as an assistant coach.
The Islanders will return home to take on Big Ten opponent Indiana on Monday, Nov. 19, at the American Bank Center. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.