CORPUS CHRISTI – After finding itself down by 17 with seven minutes left, the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team went on a 19-4 run to cut the lead down to two, but could not quite make up the deficit, losing 65-59 to Northwestern State on Thursday in the American Bank Center.
In the losing effort, Jasmine Shaw set a career-high 29 points, as well as matching the school record with seven three pointers. She also recorded her second double-double of the season with 10 rebounds, as well.
Freshman Brittany Mbamalu recorded her ninth scoring performance in double figures, getting hot late to score 12 points via four three pointers.
The Lady Demons got production from all over, as they had five players with eight points or more and shot 55.8 percent from the field.
The Islanders got off to a quick start, as Brandi Huff scooped up an offensive rebound and later was rewarded for it with a jumper in the paint to put the home team up 2-0 just 24 seconds into the half.
After NSU tied it up with a drive to the bucket, a Mbamalu three put the Islanders back on top, up 5-2 at 18:36. Taryn Gregory extended the lead for the home team, before a three for the Lady Demons pulled them back within two with 17:35 left in the half.
The teams then traded a bucket in the paint, before Shaw hit a pair of threes to put A&M – Corpus Christi up 15-7 at the 15:35 mark. This capped off the Islanders scoring on their first six possessions to start the half.
The home squad then scored the next five out of seven points, punctuated with another Shaw three to cap off an 11-2 run to put the Islanders up 20-9 with nearly 14 minutes left in the first.
Unfortunately, A&M – Corpus Christi was not able to maintain the hot start, as the Islanders' shooters went cold, failing to score over a period of 11 minutes and 20 seconds. Over that time NSU went on a 17-0 run to jump out to a 26-23 lead.
It was a Shaw three with 2:38 on the clock that finally stopped the scoreless streak, and made it a 26-23 ballgame. However, the Lady Demons sank the next five points, to jump out to an eight point lead — their largest of the half — with 1:37 left in the first.
Just like she has done several times this season, Alissa Campanero came up with a big three to cut the lead back down to five. She then went one-of-two from the line to cut the Lady Demons' lead down to 31-27 with 57 ticks left.
The Islanders were unable to score down the stretch, and NSU hit a pair of free throws to put the Lady Demons up 33-27 at the half.
To start out the second half, the two teams traded threes and then each hit three buckets to keep the deficit at six for the Islanders with 13:46 left to play.
However, the Lady Demons scored the next five points to open up a 47-36 lead with 12:41 left in the game. After a pair of free throws by Lexy Harris, NSU went on an 8-0 run to push the lead up to 55-38 with 7:03 to play.
However, the Islanders pulled themselves right back into contention, as Shaw hit a three and a jumper, while Mbamalu added a three as well to cut the lead back down to single digits.
A layup for the Lady Demons pushed their lead back to 11, but Shaw continued to take over, pulling down an offensive rebound and putting it back, and then followed with her seventh three of the game to tie a school record while brining the Islanders within six with 3:20 left to play. This finished off a 13-2 run to make it 57-51 with the Lady Demons up with 3:20 left to play.
A jumper for NSU extended the lead back up to eight, but the always dangerous Mbamalu found herself open for back-to-back threes to cut the lead all the way down to two after the Lady Demons led by 17 just 5 minutes and 17 second prior.
However, with just more than a minute left to play a layup for NSU put it back up by four. Two free throws by the leading Southland free throw shooter, Shaw, made it a 61-59 Lady Demon lead.
NSU did a good job on its next offensive possession, though, as the Lady Demons managed to run the shot clock all the way down and hit a layup to go up by four.
The Islanders were then unable to score down the stretch, as NSU escaped the ABC with its second Southland victory.
A&M – Corpus Christi will have another tough contest coming up on Saturday, as it hosts the preseason Southland favorites Stephen F. Austin with tip set for 4 p.m. in the ABC.