Lady Lions Hold Off Islanders, 72-68

Lady Lions Hold Off Islanders, 72-68

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team led by four at the half, but were unable to hold off Southeastern Louisiana's second-half play, falling 72-68 Thursday night at the American Bank Center.

The Islanders (3-23, 2-13 SLC) were paced by three players in double-figure scoring led by Taryn Gregory's season-high 13 points and career-high eight rebounds while Brandi Huff chipped in 12 points and Alisa Roberts added 11 points. The Islanders also had strong play from Ashanti Plummer who tallied a career-high nine rebounds while matching her career-high of nine points. Verne'qua Taylor dished out seven assists and recorded four steals in 25 minutes.

Elizabeth Styles registered a game-high 18 points for the Lady Lions (11-15, 4-11 SLC) in a game that featured three lead changes and three ties. Jameika Hoskins added 14 points while Erica Hernandez chipped in 12 points and Nanna Pool added 10 for the visitors. The Lady Lions leading scorer Aja Gibson was limited to nine points but collected a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Islanders jumped out to a 4-0 early start with consecutive baskets by Roberts. Southeastern La. got on board with back-to-back jumpers before the Islanders built a 10-point cushion on a 12-2 run. Jessica Jammer added three baskets while Janae Blount and Huff chipped in two and Gregory sank two from the charity stripe during the stretch.

After Southeastern La. answered with a 5-0 run Ashley Darley gave the Islanders an 18-11 lead with a layup. The Lady Lions pulled within three with back-to-back baskets before Jammer and Gregory answered with a 4-0 run to push back ahead by seven. However, Southeastern La. roared back with consecutive three-pointers from Hernandez to cut the Islanders lead to one with 6:40 to play in the first half.

Plummer followed with a layup with 6:13 to play to help jumpstart a 6-0 run to pad the Islanders lead to seven. During the run, Gregory added two free throws and a layup with 5:33 to play. After trading points at the charity stripe, the Lady Lions hit a jumper to pull within three but a Marquesha Anderson-Sparks jumper pushed the Islanders ahead by five. Hernandez responded with her third three of the half but the Islanders answered from the charity stripe with seven down the stretch to hold a 37-33 lead at the half.

The Islanders headed to the locker room with a four-point advantage on 46.4 percent shooting from the field and 91.7 percent from the charity stripe. Jammer and Gregory paced the Islanders with eight points apiece while Plummer led the glass with five rebounds. Hernandez led the Lady Lions with nine points and Hoskins chipped in seven points. The Islanders and Lady Lions were even on the boards with 19 apiece.

Out of the half, Roberts started things off with a three from the charity stripe. The Lady Lions answered with a layup from Hoskins before Plummer sank one from the line. Southeastern La. came back once again with a three-pointer from Styles to cut the Islanders' lead to three with 18:20 to play. Taylor followed with a dish inside to Plummer but the Lady Lions answered with a 9-2 run to take a two-point lead with 13:36 to play.

Blount knotted the score at 47 before the two teams battled back and forth. After a Gregory layup tied the game with a layup, Roberts chipped in two from the line and Huff added a bucket to give the Islanders a 53-49 lead with 9:36 to play. However, after trading baskets, the Lady Lions didn't back down, putting together a 12-2 run to take a 63-57 advantage.

The two teams traded baskets before Styles nailed her fourth three pointer to give the visitors a seven-point cushion. Plummer sank a free throw before Southeastern La. took their biggest lead of the game with 3:13 to play. Styles hit a layup while Hoskins chipped in two from the line to give the Lady Lions a 72-62 lead. The Islanders put together a 6-0 run to cap the scoring. Gregory triggered a three pointer, Huff hit a layup and Taylor added a free throw. 

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.

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