ABILENE, TX (Islanders Athletics) - Once again, the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's basketball team came away with a close win on the road. This time it was a 74-71 victory against Abilene Christian in the Moody Coliseum, with a rebound on a missed free throw with three seconds left sealing the win for the visitors.
Jasmine Shaw had her second game in a row with more than 20, as she went 8-of-12 from the field and 6-of-7 from downtown to record a game-high 26 points. No other Islander had double digits, but nine of her teammates got into the scoring column with 23 points coming off the bench.
ACU is known for its ability to shoot the rock, as the Wildcats went 41.8 percent from the field. However, the Islanders shot an even better percentage at 47.2, including 53.3 percent from behind the arc, mostly because of Shaw's efforts.
Despite the close finish, the Islanders held the lead for most of the game, with only two lead changes throughout the contest.
For the second consecutive game, Shaw got the scoring started for the Islanders. She hit a triple just over a minute into the game, but ACU came right back with a three of its own to tie the game at three at the 17:58 mark.
However, Shaw came right back to hit her second trey of the game to put the Islanders back up by three. ACU recorded the next five of seven points though to tie the game up at eight five minutes in.
The three-point barrage continued out of the gate for the Islanders, as Brittany Mbamalu hit her first to move into second all-time for threes made in a season with 65. She also put her team up by as many with 14:13 to go in the first.
A quick run then ensued for the visitors, including Mbamalu's three, the Islanders went on a 12-4 run to jump out to their biggest lead of the half at 22-14 with 10:01 remaining.
This prompted a Wildcat timeout, which slowed their opponents, as ACU went on a 9-2 run of its own to pull within one at the 7:11 mark.
The teams then traded buckets before a triple for ACU gave the Wildcats their first lead of the half, putting them up 28-26 with less than five minutes of play left in the first 20.
Brandi Huff tied the game back up with a jumper in the paint before Camesha Davis and Mbamalu both hit a free throw to put the Islanders back up by two.
The teams then traded two sets of buckets, with both of the field goals for the Islanders coming from Kassie Jones who had a team-high eight points in the first half.
But with just 12 seconds left, Alexis Mason drove the length of the floor and drew a foul to look to tie it with just three seconds left. However, she hit just one of two to keep the Islanders up by one, meaning A&M – Corpus Christi still hadn't been tied after the first 20 minutes of play.
The Islanders got off to a hot start in the second half, as they got a layup, triple and another lay in to go up 41-33 just over a minute into the final 20.
However, the shots started not to fall, as the Islanders went on a four-minute scoreless drought. ACU only mustered two points over that stretch though, and after an Adebayo bucket snapped the time without points, A&M – Corpus Christi still found itself up by eight with 14:53 to play.
The whistles then came out in full force, as over the next four minutes nine of the 13 points scored were from the line. However, it was an even battle at the charity stripe with the Islanders maintaining the same lead of eight with just 10:49 to go.
The offensive attack showed up for ACU though, as it made up the deficit in just over a minute off the power of two triples to tie the game at 50 with 9:37 to play.
That is when the Islanders' leading scorer took over. Shaw hit three triples, a jumper in transition and a pair of free throws in the next three minutes and 18 seconds to put her team back up by nine with six minutes to go.
However, the three pointers kept falling on the other side of the court as well. The Wildcats hit two from downtown and one from the free-throw line to pull back within two.
Shaw had yet another response, as she hit her sixth three of the game, which moved her into fourth in Islanders' lore for threes made in a season with 60. This also put the team back up by five with 4:12 to go.
It kept raining on the other end though, as another ACU triple went to make it a one-possession game once again with the score sitting at 68-66 with just under four minutes to go.
No more threes came down the final stretch, as the lead for the Islanders still maintained a two-point lead with 49 seconds left and possession of the ball. A&M – Corpus Christi was unable to capitalize on its offensive end, but held ACU to a contested three-point attempt that resulted in an airball.
However, a foul was called on the rebound attempt by Ashley Darley, which gave her five. Lizzy Dimba made the front end, but missed the next and Shaw had one more big play left, as she pulled down the board and hit two free throws to seal the game.
-Highlights courtesy KTXS-TV