CORNELL (5-3) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (0-9)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will wrap the 2012 home slate on Tuesday, Dec. 18 when they return to the American Bank Center to host Cornell University. It will mark just the second meeting in program history between the two teams. The last time the Islanders and Big Red competed against each other was in 2007 when Cornell topped the Islanders 66-40 in the consolation game of the Dayton Flyer Classic.
The Islanders are coming off their ninth consecutive loss after dropping a 69-51 loss to Texas State on Saturday at the Dugan Wellness Center. The Islanders will play just one more game to close out 2012 before starting Southland Conference play in January.
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.
Cornell enters Tuesday's game with a 5-3 record, including a 3-1 record on the road. The Big Red are coming off a 17-day break after winning three of its last four contests.
•Freshman Janae Blount has scored in double figures in seven of the Islanders' nine games this season.
•Blount tallied 10 points vs. Texas State and dished out a career-high five assists. The Washington, D.C. native leads the team with 11.9 points per game, which ranks 11th in the Southland Conference.
•Alisa Roberts paced the Islanders with a season-high 16 points, including a season-best three from behind the arc in Saturday's loss to Texas State.
•Jessica Jammer powered the glass in Saturday's game with 10 boards, including seven from the defensive end and Verne'qua Taylor chipped in a season-best six boards. Taylor also dished out a season-high eight assists.
•Marquesha Anderson-Sparks is ranked third in the SLC with a free-throw percentage of .857.
•The last time the Islanders started the season 0-9 was during the 2010-11 season when the team went 0-11 before sealing two consecutive victories. The team finished 2-27 that year.
SCOUTING THE BIG RED
The Big Red and Islanders will meet for the second time in program history. The last time the two teams met up was at the Dayton Flyer Classic on Dec. 30, 2007, when the Big Red won 66-40 in the consolation game.
Cornell edged out a 77-73 victory vs. Morgan State at home in its last meeting. Prior to that, the Big Red won on the road at St. Francis College, 74-56. Cornell has victories against Manhattan College, Binghampton University and Colgate University.
Cornell is averaging 61.4 points per game behind leading scorer Allyson DiMagno. She leads the Big Red with 13.5 points per game and Clare Fitzpatrick is second on the team with 10.6 points per game. DiMagno leads the boards with 12.5 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 11.9 points per game in a team-high 28.4 minutes per game. She is 11th in the SLC in scoring and is seventh in 3-point goal percentage. She has scored in double figures in seven of the nine games this season and has made starts in seven of the nine. The Washington, D.C. native is 20-for-24 from the line, which is good for a tie for fifth place in the SLC. Blount is also tied for ninth in steals with 1.9 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 tallied a career-high nine points vs. Texas State. She also led the newcomers with 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 has made starts in eight of the nine 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 Alisa Roberts who is third on the team with 6.6 points per game. The senior tallied a season-high 16 points vs. Texas State and Jessica Jammer chipped in 10 boards. She leads the team with 5.6 rebounds per game.
Helping Jammer on the boards is Darley with 3.4 rebounds per game and Brandi Huff with 3.1 rebounds per game.
Last season's Southland Conference assist leader Verne'qua Taylor brought back her old ways vs. Texas State with a season-best eight assists.
Marquesha Anderson-Sparks is third in the conference and leads the team at the charity stripe with a .857 percentage (18-of-21).
The Islanders' bench outscored the Bobcats 23-9 on Saturday. Roberts is leading the bench with 8.6 points per game and Anderson-Sparks has 3.9 points 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 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 faced opponents from the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac 12, WAC, Ohio Valley and Great West. The Islanders will play just one more nonconference game in December before starting Southland Conference play in January.
The Islanders will travel to Fort Worth, Texas to play TCU on Dec. 29 in the 2012 finale. Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m.