Women's Basketball Set to Host Indiana Monday
INDIANA (2-1) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (0-3)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will return home to the American Bank Center Monday, Nov. 19, to take on Big Ten opponent Indiana. The Islanders are looking for their first victory of the season after dropping their first three contests, including two on the road. The Islanders competed in three games over a span of six days last week to open a challenging 2012 schedule.
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.
Indiana opened its first two games with a split on the road. The Hoosiers dropped a 64-52 decision in its season opener but followed it with a one-point victory at Murray State. Indiana sealed its home opener 60-48 on Friday vs. Indiana State. Monday will mark the third meeting between the Hoosiers and Islanders. The two teams split the first two contests.
•Freshman Janae Blount registered her third consecutive double-figure scoring game Friday night at UTSA. She tallied 10, including 4-of-6 from the charity stripe.
•The Islanders held UTSA to just 52 points on Friday. Prior to that the Roadrunners were averaging 78 points per game.
•The Islanders went on a 10-0 run to end the half, but was outscored by UTSA 26-21 in the second half.
•Texas A&M - Corpus Christi has made it to the charity stripe 65 times this season and are shooting .692 percent from the line compared to their opponents' .648 percent
•Coach Chadwick used the same starting five on Friday from UTPA of Ashanti Plummer, Ashley Darley, Janae Blount, Jessica Jammer and Taryn Gregory. Darley is the only one to make starts in all three games this season.
•Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will be competing on Monday night for the first time this season. The Islanders have played on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday this season.
• 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.
• 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.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
Indiana comes to the Coastal Bend for the first time in program history. The Islanders and Hoosiers split the first two contests in Bloomington. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi took the first game, 59-49, in 2005, the same year they competed in the Women's NIT. Last season, the Hoosiers handed the Islanders an 80-58 loss.
This season, the Hoosiers are 2-1. Indiana dropped its season opener, 64-52, to Valparaiso on the road but bounced back at Murray State to win 63-62. The Hoosiers topped Indiana State on Friday, 60-48, in its home opener.
Indiana is averaging 58.3 points per game behind Aulani Sinclair's 19.3 and Jasmine McGhee's 12.7 per game. Milika Taufa leads the team with 8.0 rebounds per game.
Last season against the Hoosiers, Marquesha Anderson-Sparks scored 11 points and pulled seven rebounds. Jessica Jammer chipped in nine points and five rebounds and junior Verne'qua Taylor dished out seven assists. Indiana had three players score in double figures.
The Islanders were picked to finish eighth in the Southland Conference Coaches' Poll after finishing with a 5-11 conference record last season.
BE BLUNT ABOUT IT
Freshman guard Janae Blount is leading the Islanders with 12.3 points per game in 27.3 minutes per game. She has scored in double figures in all three of the Islanders' games this season and has made starts in two out of the three. The Washington, D.C. native is also 9-for-11 from the line. She scored a team-high 14 points and went 3-for-5 from behind the arc in the Islanders' season opener vs. Belmont.
Joining Blount is freshman post Ashanti Plummer who has added some inside presence after averaging 18.1 points per game during her senior season of high school. She also pulled down 13.6 rebounds. Freshman Zenobia Winbush and junior transfer Morgan Schwartz have added height to the Islanders roster. 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 and will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
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.
Ashley Darley is back after sitting out last season with a medical redshirt. The redshirt junior has made starts in all three of the Islanders' games. She is second on the team with 8.3 points per game in 19.3 minutes per game. She has also chipped in seven steals. The Corpus Christi native picked up three early fouls on Friday at UTSA and was held scoreless for the first time this season. Prior to that she scored eight points in the season opener vs. Belmont and recorded a team-high 17 points, one shy of her career best at UTPA. She also chipped in a game-high five steals.
Joining Darley is junior Marquesha Anderson-Sparks, who is second on the team out of the returners with 7.0 points per game. She is also 12-for-13 at the charity stripe. Leading the boards is junior Brandi Huff with 5.7 rebounds per game and Jessica Jammer is second with 4.7 per game. The Islanders also return last season's conference assist leader Verne'qua Taylor and guards Alisa Roberts, Imani Dunn, Taryn Gregory, Trish Amboree and Sarah Alva, along with forward Damequia Montgomery.
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.
The Islanders will travel to Boulder, Colo. for the 26th Annual Omni Hotels Classic, hosted by Colorado. The Islanders will take on Colorado on Friday, Nov. 23, at 7:30 p.m. MST and will play the winner/loser of the Auburn and San Diego State game on Saturday, Nov. 24, either at 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.