No. 6 Islanders Set Sails for Championship with Win Over No. 2 Ladyjacks

first_imgTexas A&M-Corpus Christi (17-15) will play in their first tournament championship since losing to Lamar in the 2010 title game.“For these players to have come through what they come through to have an opportunity to play…our radio guy said, ‘coach, it’s the 16th of March,” said Islanders coach Royce Chadwick. “You’re playing on the 16th of March, your team has done something right.”SFA (25-6) had one last chance to force overtime, but Makinna Serrata swiped a pass intended for Stephanie Visscher with a second on the clock to preserve the victory.Visscher pushed the Ladyjacks to within 56-55 when she knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:11 left in the game. Aiyana Johnson hit the first of two free throws to tie the score with 28 seconds left but missed the second, setting the stage for Young’s heroics.The Islanders clamped down defensively on SFA in the decisive fourth quarter, holding the Ladyjacks to 4-for-13 shooting (30.8 percent). Coach Mark Kellogg’s squad did not help their cause from the free throw line, where they finished 4-for-9.WBB: Dalesia Booth either made a mistake or a prediction, placing @IslandersWBB on the big backstage bracket champion line…Giana Wright fixed it! @IslandCampus advanced to face @ACUedu in Sunday’s title tilt. 1 pm CT on @CBSSportsNet. #ShakasUp #SouthlandStrong ??— #SouthlandStrong (@SouthlandSports) March 16, 2019 It was free throws that kept the Islanders in the game, especially in the third quarter where they hit 10-of-12 attempts from the line. The ability to get to the charity stripe offset A&M-Corpus Christi’s 20- percent shooting (2-for-10) from the field in the third quarter, allowing them to go into the fourth quarter with a 45-44 lead.The lead changed hands 13 times and the game had 11 ties. Neither team had a lead of larger than six points.SFA was unable to get into a long-range groove, hitting just 4-of-19 attempts from beyond the arc.“We just couldn’t make the shots,” said SFA guard BriAnna Mitchell, who had four points. “We had some good shots, but we just couldn’t make them.”The Islanders were able to fluster SFA’s All-Conference first team duo of Chanell Hayes and Imani Johnson, who were a combined 5-for-14 from the field. The shooting of Visscher (12 points) and reserve Aiyana Johnson, who scored a game-high 18 points, were the marks of consistency for the Ladyjacks, who shot 43.6 percent from the field.Despite the loss, Kellogg felt optimistic about SFA’s chances to bounce back from the loss and compete wherever his team is placed in the postseason on Monday night.“It’s tremendous for the program,” he said. “It’s a reward for the great regular season we had together. We’ll be excited to regroup, I can promise you that.”ACU won both regular-season games against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Wildcats triumphed at home in a 78-71 decision on January 30, before heading south to defeat the Islanders 73-64 on February 27. Box Score | Photo GalleryKATY, Texas – Emma Young had one field goal in the first 39 minutes of play on Saturday. She will never forget her second basket.The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi sophomore guard scored on a layup with :03 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift the No.6-seed Islanders past No. 2-seed Stephen F. Austin in a 58-56 thriller at the Merrell Center on Saturday afternoon in Katy, putting the Islanders in Sunday’s championship game against No. 4-seed Abilene Christian at 1 p.m. CT (CBS Sports Network). At stake Sunday: The right to claim the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament.“I flushed that all out,” said Young, who was 1-for-5 from the field before her game-winner. “I just concentrated on playing defense wanting for my moment to come, and when it did, I rose to it.”WBB: “What a great play by Emma Young!” @IslandersWBB going to the ‘ship, where they’ll face @ACUWBB. 1 pm CT Sunday on @CBSSportsNet. #ShakasUp #SouthlandStrong ?? #ChampWeek— #SouthlandStrong (@SouthlandSports) March 16, 2019last_img