The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will look to keep its winning streak alive Saturday, Feb. 16, when they travel to Tulsa, Okla. to take on Oral Roberts in the second half of Southland Conference action. The Islanders clinched a 60-58 overtime victory over Central Arkansas on Thursday in Conway, Ark. to win their second straight conference game this season.
The Islanders are looking to bounce back from a 58-41 home loss to the Golden Eagles earlier this season. Saturday's game will mark the fourth meeting between the two teams. Oral Roberts has the 2-1 series advantage. The Golden Eagles have won four out of their last five contests and enters Saturday's game with a 12-11 record, including a 9-4 record in SLC play while the Islanders are 3-20 and 2-10 in the SLC. Oral Roberts sits in second place in the SLC rankings while the Islanders sit in 10th.
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 563 wins on his collegiate coaching resume.
•The Islanders are on a two-game winning streak after clinching a 60-58 overtime victory over Central Arkansas on Thursday.
• Taryn Gregory's free throw with 3.7 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Islanders to their third victory of the season and second in conference play.
•It was the Islanders' first overtime game since a 76-72 loss to Southeastern La. on Feb, 25, 2009.
•The Islanders were paced by three players in double-figure scoring. Ashley Darley and Taryn Gregory led the Islanders with 12 points apiece and Janae Blount chipped in 10 along with a career-high eight rebounds.
•All nine Islanders that saw action in Thursday's game finished in the scoring column.
•The Islanders' bench outscored Central Arkansas' bench 28-4.
•The Islanders led at the half for the eighth time this season. The squad is 2-6 when leading at the half.
•Janae Blount leads the team with 8.1 points per game while Jammer is second with 8.0 points per game. Jammer leads the Islanders in conference play with 8.5 points per game.
•Coach Chadwick has used 13 different starting lineups this season. On Thursday, he used the starting lineup of Jessica Jammer, Ashanti Plummer, Ashley Darley, Taryn Gregory and Verne'qua Taylor for the second time this season. 10 of the 12 active Islanders have started at least two games this season.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
The Golden Eagles and Islanders will meet for the fourth time in program history and second in Southland Conference play. The Golden Eagles lead the series 2-1.
The last time the Islanders and Golden Eagles met up was on January 17 at the American Bank Center. The Islanders dropped a 58-41 loss to Oral Roberts after putting together a strong shooting performance in the first half. Imani Dunn paced the Islanders 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 Golden Eagles have won four of its last five games. Oral Roberts is coming off a 90-40 home victory to Sam Houston State and a 68-64 road victory over Stephen F. Austin. The Golden Eagles are averaging 69.1 points per game behind Kevi Luper's 18.1 points per game and Jaci Bigham's 12.9 points per game. Sarah Shelton leads the boards with 5.6 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.
Jessica Jammer has powered the Islanders' offense in conference play. She is second on the team in scoring with 8.0 per game (29th, SLC) and has registered six double-figure scoring games this season. She leads the team also in conference play with 8.5 points per game. Jammer leads the Islanders glass with 5.2 rebounds per game, which is good for 18th place in the SLC.
BE BLUNT ABOUT IT
Freshman guard Janae Blount leads the team with 8.1 points per game which is good for 27th place in the SLC in scoring. She has scored eight double-figure scoring games this season. The Washington, D.C. native scored a career-high 21 points vs. Auburn and tied her career-high four three-pointers at the 26th Annual Omni Hotels Classic in Boulder, Colo. to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Ashley Darley has made starts in 16 of the 22 Islanders' games. She is third on the team with 7.8 points per game in 18.8 minutes per game. She has chipped in a team-high 35 steals apiece (9th, SLC).
Darling recorded a career-high 29 points vs. Sam Houston State and grabbed 11 rebounds. She followed that performance with her second double-double of the year with 11 points and a season-high 12 rebounds vs. Lamar. Prior to that she tallied 17 points at UTPA and grabbed seven rebounds vs. Auburn. She also scored 12 points in both games against Colorado and Auburn in the Omni Hotels Classic. She chipped in four of the Islanders' season-high 18 steals. She led the team with 12 points at Lamar and at Central Arkansas.
A DUNN DEAL
At Nicholls State, Imani Dunn tallied eight points all in the first half, including 2-for-4 from behind the arc in her third start of the season. Prior to that, the senior made her first season start vs. Oral Roberts and gave the Islanders a spark, scoring the first seven points for the Islanders. She also tied a career-high three from behind the arc in a career-high 32 minutes. At Southeastern La., Dunn tallied six points going 6-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Right behind Darley is Alisa Roberts who is fourth on the team with 5.7 points per game. The senior tallied a season-high 16 points vs. Texas State.
Last season's SLC assist leader Verne'qua Taylor brought back her old ways vs. Texas State with a season-best eight assists and matched it vs. Lamar.
Taryn Gregory recorded a season-high 12 points at Central Arkansas including a free throw with 3.7 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Islanders to victory. Marquesha Anderson-Sparks has been strong this season from the charity stripe with a .756 percentage (34-of-45). The junior made her first season start at Lamar and started against UCA where she went 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
The Islanders' bench has outscored seven of its last eight opponents. The Islanders notched the 28-4 bench advantage over UCA and the 31-11 bench advantage over McNeese State. Prior to that, the Islanders sealed a 31-17 bench advantage vs. Sam Houston State. The Islanders also outscored Oral Roberts' bench 16-8 and followed it with a 21-13 bench advantage vs. UCA. The Islanders' bench outscored Nicholls State's bench 23-21 and the Lady Lions' bench 10-8.
Royce Chadwick is the fourth coach in Islanders' history to make his debut on the sidelines. He holds 562 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. 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. Darren Brunson also made his Islanders' coaching debut this season as the Islanders Assistant Coach. Geoff Grawn is in his 11th season on the Islanders' staff as an assistant coach.
The Islanders will return home for a three-game homestand. First up is Northwestern State on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m. at the American Bank Center.