TEXAS STATE (4-3) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (0-8)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will return to action after a 14-day break to face Texas State on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Dugan Wellness Center. Saturday's game will mark the first of two games at the Dugan Wellness Center this season. The last time the two teams met in the Dugan was during the 2010-11 season.
The Islanders are coming off a tough November schedule. During the span of Nov. 11 through Nov. 24 the Islanders played six games, including four on the road. The Islanders finished 0-8 in November and will play just three games in December to close out 2012.
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.
Texas State enters Saturday's game with a 4-3 record, including a 1-2 record on the road. The Bobcats are coming off a nine-day break after topping Huston-Tillotson at home on Dec. 6.
Saturday's contest will mark the 17th meeting between the two schools with Texas State holding a 5-11 advantage.
•Freshman Janae Blount has scored in double figures in six of the Islanders' eight games this season.
•Blount led the team with 14 points at Texas on Nov. 30. She also pulled down a season-best seven rebounds. The Washington, D.C. native leads the team with 12.1 points per game, which ranks 11th in the Southland Conference.
•Ashley Darley recorded her fifth double-figure scoring game this season vs. UTPA with 14 points. She tied a season-high seven rebounds.
•Blount is fifth in the Southland Conference with 2.1 steals per game and Darley is tied for seventh.
•Marquesha Anderson-Sparks is ranked third in the SLC with a free-throw percentage of .857.
•Coach Chadwick has used the same starting five of Ashanti Plummer, Ashley Darley, Janae Blount, Jessica Jammer and Taryn Gregory seven out of the eight games this season. Darley is the only one to make starts in all seven games this season.
•The last time the Islanders started the season 0-8 was during the 2010-11 season when the team went 0-11 before sealing two consecutive victories. The team finished 2-27 that year.
• 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.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
The Bobcats and Islanders will meet for the 17th time in program history. Texas State has notched the last four meetings. Last season, the Bobcats notched a 74-61 road victory and picked up a 73-67 victory at home.
The last time the two teams met up at the Dugan Wellness Center was on Jan. 26, 2011 when the Bobcats edged the Islanders 78-76.
Texas State is coming off a 93-42 home victory over Huston-Tillotson. Prior to that, the Bobcats dropped road losses to UTEP and Oklahoma State.
Texas State is averaging 78.7 points per game behind former Southland Conference scoring leader Diamond Ford. She leads the Bobcats with 20.0 points per game and Ashley Ezeh is second on the team with 16.0 points per game. She also leads the boards with 8.4 rebounds per game.
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 12.1 points per game in a team-high 28.5 minutes per game. She is 11th in the SLC in scoring and is eighth in 3-point goal percentage. She has scored in double figures in six of the eight games this season and has made starts in seven of the eight. The Washington, D.C. native is 20-for-24 from the line, which is good for fifth in the SLC. Blount also ranks fifth in steals with 2.1 per game. She scored a career-high 21 points vs. Auburn and tied her career-high four three-pointers.
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. Plummer led the newcomers with nine points and five rebounds in the only exhibition of the season. Morgan Schwartz is a transfer from Midland CC where she played two seasons under head coach Ron Jones. This season she posted eight points at UTPA on 4-of-7 shooting and tied a season-high five rebounds at Texas.
Ashley Darley is back after sitting out last season with a medical redshirt. The redshirt junior has made starts in all eight of the Islanders' games. She is second on the team with 8.6 points per game in 18.8 minutes per game. She has also chipped in a team-high 16 steals, which is good for seventh in the SLC.
Darling recorded a season-high 17 points at UTPA and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds vs. Auburn. She also scored 12 points in both games against Colorado and Auburn in the Omni Hotels Classic. She netted a game-high 14 points vs. UTPA and chipped in four of the Islanders' season-high 18 steals.
Joining Darley is senior Jessica Jammer who is third on the team with 5.9 points per game. She leads the team with 5.0 rebounds per game. Helping Jammer on the boards is Darley with 3.4 rebounds per game and Brandi Huff with 3.0 rebounds per game.
Marquesha Anderson-Sparks is third in the conference and leads the team at the charity stripe with a .857 percentage (18-of-21).
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 made his Islanders' coaching debut this season as the Islanders Assistant Coach. Brunson comes to the Island University after spending the past two years as the associate head coach and team's recruiting coordinator at Texas Southern. Geoff Grawn is in his 11th season on the Islanders' staff as an assistant coach.
The Islanders had a tough November schedule against some of the top competition around. The Islanders have faced opponents from the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac 12, WAC, Ohio Valley and Great West. The Islanders will play three more nonconference games in December before starting Southland Conference play in January.
The Islanders will host Cornell on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at the ABC before traveling to Forth Worth to play TCU on Dec. 29 to wrap 2012.