Islanders Look to Tame Lady Lions Thursday at the American Bank Center
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA (10-15, 3-11 SLC) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (3-22, 2-12 SLC)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will remain at home to host its final two home games at the American Bank Center. The Islanders will host Southeastern La. on Thursday, Feb. 28 before facing Nicholls State on Saturday, March 2, on senior night. It will be the second meeting between the Lady Lions and Islanders this season and ninth time in program history. The Islanders are coming off a 68-58 home loss to Northwestern State on Feb. 19 at the American Bank Center and are looking to bounce back from a 66-54 road loss to the Lady Lions in January.
The Lady Lions currently sit in ninth place in the Southland Conference and are tied with the Islanders all-time at 4-4. Southeastern La. has dropped four of its last five games and enters Thursday's game with a 10-15 record, including a 3-11 record in SLC play while the Islanders are 3-22 and 2-12 in the SLC.
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 fell short, 68-58, to Northwestern State on Feb. 19. The Islanders cut the deficit to 10 with three to play in the second half but couldn't overcome the Lady Demons from behind the arc.
•Jessica Jammer paced the Islanders with her seventh double-figure scoring game of the season with 16 points.
•The Islanders' bench has outscored nine of its last 10 opponents. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi outscored the Lady Demons' bench 27-0.
•Ashley Darley leads the team with 8.5 points per game. She also leads the Islanders in conference play with 9.4 points per game.
•Jammer is currently tied for fifth place in career blocks with 68.
•Coach Chadwick has used 14 different starting lineups this season. Last Tuesday, he used the starting lineup of Jessica Jammer, Ashanti Plummer, Ashley Darley, Taryn Gregory and Verne'qua Taylor for the third time this season. The Islanders are 2-1 when using that starting lineup. 10 of the 12 active Islanders have started at least two games this season.
SCOUTING THE LADY LIONS
The Lady Lions and Islanders will meet for the ninth time in program history and second time this season in Southland Conference play. The Islanders and Lady Lions are tied in the all-time series at 4-4.
The last time the Islanders and Lady Lions met up was on Janaury 26, 2013. Jessica Jammer led all scorers with a season-high 22 points, but it wasn't enough, as Southeastern La. had five players in double-figures to capture a 66-54 victory.
The Lady Lions have dropped four of its last four games. Southeastern La. is coming off a 75-67 road loss at McNeese State and an 83-80 overtime home loss to Stephen F. Austin. Prior to that, the Lady Lions picked up a 66-60 victory over Northwestern State. Southeastern La. is averaging 63.8 points per game behind Aja Gibson's 11.2 points per game and Brandi Simmons 10.9 points per game. Simmons also leads the boards with 8.8 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.
Ashley Darley has made starts in 18 of the 24 Islanders' games and leads the team with 8.5 points per game (25th, SLC) in 19.5 minutes per game. She has chipped in a team-high 39 steals apiece (9th, SLC).
Jessica Jammer has powered the Islanders' offense in conference play. She is second on the team in scoring with 8.3 per game (27th, SLC) and has registered seven double-figure scoring games this season. She is also second on the team in conference play with 9.1 points per game. Jammer leads the Islanders glass with 5.2 rebounds per game, which is good for 19th place in the SLC.
BE BLUNT ABOUT IT
Freshman guard Janae Blount is third on the team with 7.8 points per game and has tallied 5.5 points per game in conference play this season. She leads the team with 29 three pointers which is good for a tie for 13th place.
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.
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.
Alisa Roberts is fifth on the team with 5.5 points per game. The senior tallied a season-high 16 points vs. Texas State.
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 .740 percentage (37-of-50). 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 nine of its last 10 opponents. The Islanders notched the 27-0 bench advantage against the Lady Demons. Prior to that the Islanders tallied a 23-17 bench advantage at Oral Roberts and a 28-4 bench advantage over UCA. The Islanders posted a 31-11 bench advantage over McNeese State and 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.
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 face Nicholls State on Saturday, March 2 at the American Bank Center. The team will honor Imani Dunn, Jessica Jammer, Alisa Roberts and Verne'qua Taylor on senior night.