CORPUS CHRISTI – Seniors Brandi Huff (21) and Jasmine Shaw (20) each posted 20-plus points, as the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball team won its sixth straight game, 90-65 over Houston Baptist on Homecoming. The Islanders improved to 16-11 and 9-7 in Southland play with the victory to close in on a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament.
The six-game winning streak is the longest for A&M-Corpus Christi since the 2004-05 squad won six in a row from Dec. 22, 2004, to Jan. 24, 2005. That squad advanced to the National Invitation Tournament in posting a 23-7 season.
Alissa Campanero posted a career-high 13 assists as well for the Islanders, the second-best mark in team history. Brittany Mbamalu came on late to post 13 points, hitting three shots beyond the arc to set a new school record with 78 three-pointers on the season.
Shanice Steenholdt led all scorers with 22 points for HBU (11-16, 7-9 SLC), while Rachel Arthur (15) and Tayler Jefferson (10) finished in double figures as well.
Houston Baptist scored the first four points of the game, but Huff got the Islanders rolling by scoring the contest's next nine points, hitting all four of her shots and finishing a three-point play, to push the Islanders ahead 9-4. The Huskies countered with consecutive buckets to cut it to 9-8, but Shaw delivered consecutive threes, sandwiched by a Camesha Davis block, to push the lead to 15-8 at the 14:17 mark. HBU responded, though, and three straight points for Steenholdt cut the lead to 16-13.
The Islanders came right back, though, scoring seven straight points, the final three on a triple for Campanero, to make it 23-13. HBU then cut into the Islanders edge, trimming the deficit to 25-18 at the 7:43 mark. A&M-Corpus Christi delivered another huge run at that stage, running off 12 straight points to push the lead to 19. The home squad increased the advantage all the way to 22 on a Shaw three at the 2:08 mark, but HBU closed the half on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 16 at the break.
A&M-Corpus Christi shot the lights out in the opening stanza, going 18-for-29 from the field. Huff, Shaw and Ashley Darley – all three seniors – combined to go 17-for-21 from the floor, contributing all but one of the Islanders' baskets and 40 of the 44 points.
Out of the locker room, the Islanders went ice cold from the field, starting the second just 1-for-12. Still, the team was able to crash the offensive glass – snaring seven offensive rebounds in that time – to maintain a 50-37 lead with 14:55 to play. The two teams went back-and-forth over the next several minutes, with A&M-Corpus Christi holding a 56-41 edge, then two free throws by Taryn Gregory and a triple by Shaw pushed the lead to 20 at the 9:31 mark.
From that point forward, HBU was unable to get any closer than 15 points, with the 25-point margin at the final buzzer the largest of the game. Mbamalu had all 13 of her points in the final 3:44, as the freshman drained a trio of three-pointers and added four more points at the line.
The Islanders will close out the regular season with a pair of games at the American Bank Center next week, starting on Thursday against McNeese State, as tipoff is slated for 5 p.m. For tickets, call 825-BALL or purchase them online at GoIslanders.com.
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