CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team put together a strong shooting performance in the first half but couldn't overcome Oral Roberts' second half play falling 58-41 Thursday night at the American Bank Center.
Senior Imani Dunn paced the Islanders (1-15, 0-5 SLC) with a career-high 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. Ashley Darley tied a season-high seven boards to lead the Islanders while Jessica Jammer and Janae Blount each chipped in seven points and six rebounds. The Islanders outrebounded the Golden Eagles 42-30 and Texas A&M - Corpus Christi's bench notched the 16-8 advantage, behind Dunn's and Blount's play.
Christian Key powered the Golden Eagles (7-8, 4-1 SLC) with 21 points, including 5-of-7 from behind the arc and Sarah Shelton added 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 5-0 run until Dunn hit back-to-back buckets to knot the score at five. After another 5-0 run by Oral Roberts, the Islanders answered with a 5-0 run to trim the lead to one. During the run, Dunn tallied the Islanders seventh point while Brandi Huff and Trish Amboree chipped in points from the charity stripe. The Islanders and Golden Eagles battled back and forth before Dunn triggered her second three of the half to push the Islanders ahead by one. After two free throws by the Golden Eagles, the Islanders regained the lead with a layup by Blount to head into the locker room ahead.
The Islanders took a 23-22 halftime lead on 53.8 percent shooting from the field. Dunn led all scorers with 10 points and Darley led the glass with five boards. The Islanders grabbed the 21-10 advantage on the boards. Jaci Bigham led the Golden Eagles with six points and Kevi Luper added five.
Oral Roberts gained momentum out of the half with back-to-back treys before Blount pulled the Islanders within three with a jumper. The Golden Eagles pulled away with a 10-3 run with 11:45 to play before Blount cut the deficit to seven with the Islanders' third three of the game. Oral Roberts put together a 9-1 run before Dunn sank her third three of the game to trim the deficit to 12. The Golden Eagles responded with a 9-4 run before Marquesha Anderson-Sparks added a free throw and Ashanti Plummer added a layup. Oral Roberts capped the scoring with a layup before time expired.
Darley, Dunn, Jammer, Plummer and Verne'qua Taylor all received the starting nod for the Islanders, the first time that starting five has seen the floor together.
The Islanders will remain at the American Bank Center to host last season's regular-season champion Central Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 19. Tipoff is slated for 12 p.m.
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