TEXAS A&M INTERNATIONAL AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (Exhibition)
Sunday, Nov. 3 • 4 p.m. CT
Dugan Wellness Center • Corpus Christi, Texas
The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team gets its 2013-14 season underway at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 at the Dugan Wellness Center in an exhibition matchup against Texas A&M – International.
This will mark the first matchup between the Islanders and Dustdevils. Last season A&M – International finished the season with a 10-16 overall record and 5-77conference record, placing them fifth in the Heartland Conference. They are picked to finish in the same spot again this season.
With the departure of eight players from last year's squad, the Islanders only have four returners for the 2013-14 season made up of three seniors and one sophomore. The leading scorer out of the bunch was Ashley Darley, who was second on the team in points scored with 7.9 a game. Darley also ranked second on the team in rebounds per game and steals per game last year. Taryn Gregory also returns for her final season after starting in 20 games last year. She comes into the year ranking fourth in career free throw percentage with a .764 overall percentage her first three years. Brandi Huff rounds out the trio of seniors after ranking third on the team in rebounds. The lone sophomore on A&M – Corpus Christi's roster is Ashanti Plummer. The Manhattan, N.Y., native enters play this year after making an impact on the team her freshman year, ranking second on the team in games started with 22 and first in the team in blocks and 11th in the Southland in the same category.
The Islanders enter this season with the top-ranked recruiting class in the Southland after signing 10 newcomers. However, five of them join the Island University with collegiate experience – three of which at the Division I level. Two of the transfers have played for coach Royce Chadwick, as Shay Weaver and Jasmine Shaw come to the Island University after playing for him at Marshall. Shaw will look to make an immediate impact, while Weaver will sit out this season because of NCAA transfer rules. Alissa Campanero will look to get the ball in the hands of shooters as she dished out 4.9 assists per game last season with Odessa College and has experience in Division I after playing her freshman season at Hawaii. Shola Adebayo played at Eastern Oklahoma State Community College and averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game, while securing 12 double-doubles, picking up First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Region and Third Team NJCAA All-American honors. Lexy Harris joins the Islanders after averaging a double-double with Angelina Community College, averaging 12.8 points per game and 10.9 rebounds to go along with 2.1 blocks per game.
Rounding off the highly touted recruiting class are five freshman, with all but one of those coming from Texas. Ranked No. 63 in the ESPN Girls Recruiting Nationals Rankings was Camesha Davis who averaged 16 points and 8.5 rebounds at Desoto High School. Another freshman that comes to the Coastal Bend almost averaging a double-double is Doshi Davis who averaged 11 points, 8.3 rebounds as a senior at Memorial High School in Port Arthur, Texas. A freshman that managed to average a double-double her senior season of high school was Brittany Mbamalu, pulling down 10.1 rebounds a game to go along with 20.8 points. She was also named first team all-district her junior and senior seasons. Looking to help out a team that averaged less than 50 points a game last season is Kassie Jones who was ranked 10th in Texas in scoring her senior year, averaging 24 points a game. The lone freshman from outside of Texas is Rau Jua' Terry who comes to A&M – Corpus Christi from Louisville, Ky., and was rated one of the top 250 players in the country by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.
FILLING THE VOID
The Islanders will have to find a way to make up for losing its top scorer with Jessica Jammer departing after tallying 8.4 points a game last year. It also loses its assists leader, as Verne'Qua Taylor leaves after climbing to fifth in the Islanders record book, while ranking ninth in the Southland with 3.31 assists per game. Taylor also ranked first on the team and 11th in the conference in steals.
After finishing last season 3-15, the Islanders have been picked by the Southland coaches to finish ninth in the conference, while the SID Poll has A&M – Corpus Christi occupying the 10th spot.
TOURNAMENT ON THE ISLAND
A&M – Corpus Christi will open its regular season next weekend, as the Islanders will host the Emerald Beach Islanders Classic on Nov. 8-9 with all games being played in the Dugan Wellness Center. The Islanders first game of the tournament will be at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 against Western Illinois. They will then play either UAB or Fairfield on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. depending on who wins and loses in the matchups on Friday. For tickets for these games and throughout the season call 825-BALL (2255) or visit GoIslanders.com.
For the latest team information, like the team on Facebook (Islanders Women's Basketball), and follow the Islanders on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersWBB).