TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (4-24, 3-14 SLC) AT STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (12-16, 7-10 SLC)
THE OPENING TIP
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi women's basketball team will wrap the 2012-13 season Saturday, March 9, on the road at Stephen F. Austin. The Islanders are coming off a 51-49 victory at Northwestern State while the Ladyjacks have sealed a No. 7 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament. Brandi Huff's jumper off the glass with 50.5 seconds left lifted the Islanders' to their fourth victory of the season and third in Southland Conference action.
Saturday's game will mark the second meeting between the Ladyjacks and Islanders this season and 15th time in program history. Stephen F. Austin holds the all-time 12-2 series advantage. The Islanders are looking to bounce back from a 66-47 home loss to the Ladyjacks in the conference home opener in January.
Stephen F. Austin is coming off a 76-68 loss to Sam Houston State at home and enters Saturday's game with a 12-16 record, including a 7-10 record in SLC play while the Islanders are 4-24 and 3-14 in the SLC.
Head Coach Royce Chadwick is in his first year as the Islanders' Head Coach. Chadwick has 565 wins on his collegiate coaching resume.
•The Islanders clinched their fourth victory of the season on Thursday with a 51-49 thriller over Northwestern State.
•Brandi Huff tallied her sixth double-figure scoring game of the season with 12 points to pace the Islanders. Her jumper off the glass with 50.5 seconds helped lead the team to victory.
•Jessica Jammer tallied her first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
•The Islanders' bench has outscored 12 of its last 13 opponents. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi outscored the Lady Demons' bench 30-4.
•Jammer leads the team with 8.3 points per game. She also leads the Islanders in conference play with 9.0 points per game.
•Jammer moved into fifth place in career blocks with 70.
•Verne'qua Taylor sits in fifth place all-time with 227 assists.
•Coach Chadwick has used 17 different starting lineups this season. On Thursday, he used the starting lineup of Janae Blount, Ashanti Plummer, Brandi Huff, Taryn Gregory and Verne'qua Taylor for the first time this season. 10 of the 12 active Islanders have started at least two games this season.
SCOUTING THE LADYJACKS
The Ladyjacks and Islanders will meet for the 15th time in program history and second time this season in Southland Conference play. Stephen F. Austin lead the all-time series at 12-2.
The last time the Islanders and LadyJacks met up was on January 7, 2013, at the American Bank Center. The Islanders fell short, 66-47, to the Ladyjacks after putting together a late 7-2 rally. Brandi Huff recorded a career-high 15 points and Jessica Jammer chipped in 10 points.
Stephen F. Austin has dropped four of its six games but has sealed victories against Northwestern State and a two overtime victory over Southeastern La. The Ladyjacks have clinched their ticket into the Southland Conference Tournament and will be the No. 7 seed. Stephen F. Austin is averaging 62.5 points per game behind Porsha Roberts' 14.5 points per game. Roberts also leads the boards with 7.8 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 19 of the 27 Islanders' games and is second on the team with 7.8 points per game in 18.3 minutes per game. She has chipped in 39 steals apiece (14th, SLC).
Darling recorded a career-high 29 points vs. Sam Houston State and grabbed 11 rebounds. She posted a game-high 27 points at Oral Roberts, including 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. She scored 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.
Jessica Jammer has powered the Islanders' offense in conference play. She leads the team in scoring with 8.3 per game (28th, SLC) and has registered eight double-figure scoring games this season. She also leads the team in conference play with 9.0 points per game. Jammer leads the Islanders glass with 5.3 rebounds per game, which is good for 19th place in the SLC. She recorded her first double double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds at Northwestern State.
BE BLUNT ABOUT IT
Freshman guard Janae Blount is third on the team with 7.4 points per game and has tallied 5.2 points per game in conference play this season. She leads the team with 29 three pointers.
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.
Brandi Huff has stepped up for the Islanders as of late. She tallied back-to-back 12 point games vs. Nicholls State and Northwestern State. Huff is fourth in scoring with 6.3 points per game and is third on the boards with 4.3 rebounds per game. She is second on the team in conference play with 8.3 points per game.
Alisa Roberts is fifth 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. She leads the team with 90 assists (3.2 per game, 9th, SLC).
Taryn Gregory recorded a season-high 13 points vs. Southeastern La. and a career-high eight rebounds. At Central Arkansas Gregory sank 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 .774 percentage (48-of-62). 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 12 of its last 13 opponents. The Islanders tallied the 30-4 bench advantage over Northwestern State on Thursday. The team also notched the 25-11 bench advantage over Nicholls State and the 32-25 advantage over the Lady Lions. Prior to that, the Islanders tallied a 27-0 bench advantage over the Lady Demons and a 23-17 bench advantage at Oral Roberts. The Islanders posted a 28-4 bench advantage over UCA and a 31-11 bench advantage over McNeese State. The Islanders also outscored Sam Houston State's bench 31-17, 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 565 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.