Houston, Tx– The Lady Huskies(7-12) have been in a funk lately and need to put together a string of successful outings if they want to turn their season around. Losing five out of their last six, the season has not been going the way they’d envisioned. They desperately needed a win against the Texas A&M Corpus Christie Islanders(11-8) to turn their luck around.
Natalia Gwarda got it done on both sides early. Scored the first 8 points, shooting 4/4 from the floor, and 2 blocks. There was no establishment set early on in the game for neither school as there were 4 lead changes in the first four and a half minutes. A dramatic finish to end the first quarter, with a huge Alexes Bryant block and an Emma Young buzzer beater for three big points to clutch the first quarter lead.
During the second quarter, Emma Young really got a feel for the Huskies and effected the game with her defense and play-making ability. Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s defense, especially zone, made it difficult for the Huskies to consistently score points in the paint in the second quarter and it showed. Limited lane penetration and second chance points opportunities, lead the Huskies to struggle with scoring. Not only did Young continue to play effectively, but Bryant and Dalesia Booth both contributed with 9 points in the second. There was a theme for Lady Huskies in the second quarter and that was giveaways. A&M Corpus Christi forced 10 steals in the game by half-time including seven in the second quarter. Those steals lead to 16 turnover points. Not nearly enough from the Huskies in that second quarter. Not sharp as they were in previous quarter, and the Islanders really turned up the heat to get the quarter underway and it didn’t end until the half commenced. Dominating performance from the Islanders, as they enjoyed a 11-point lead, up 30-19.
The third quarter mirrored the same results as the second early on. Easy points for the Islanders, made off of turnovers or terrible possessions for the Huskies. Sloppy passes, bad shot selection and the inability to stop the offensive bleeding, the Huskies allowed the Islanders to control the game and drained the life out of the Sharp Gym. To simply put it, Houston Baptist played lethargically with no effort. Until 2:23 mark of the third quarter. The Huskies got hungry, which sparked a 11-2 run started by Amanda Johnson. The run was capped off with a huge Sophie Taylor layup to close the third quarter off. The Huskies out scored the Islanders 21-19 in the third and cut the lead down to 9, 49-40, Islanders.
The energy in the Sharp Gym started to really come alive in the fourth quarter. While still down, the Huskies continues to claw their way back into the game they allowed to get away from them. What was once a 21-point lead had been knocked down to 6 with under 2-minutes left to play in the game. However, in the end, the Islanders sealed the game following a huge acrobatic lay-up by Emma Young. Huskies fall short, 70-56.
When asked about the 27 points created from turnovers for the game, coach Donna said “Our two practices going into this game reflected what happened today, we came with no intensity and we didn’t have energy in practices and it showed in our play today. It showed with how sloppy we were with the ball in our hands, you cant win a game with that many turnovers.”
Player of the Game: Junior Guard, Emma Young, no question. She came to play. Game and season high with 21 points, 5 steals and shot better than 50 percent from the field, this was the game the Islanders needed going into the Huskies Home. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her play. Notching her season high, Young performance help lead her team to a victory statement win for the Islanders.
Bryant also step up huge for the Lady Islanders with her dominance in the paint. After allowing Gwarda to get hot in the first early with 8 straight shots, Bryant anchor that Islander defense to 4 blocks, altered more shots than you could count and held Gwarda to just 2 more points for the remainder of the game.
Lady Huskies take on Stephen F. Austin(17-3) this Wednesday at 7 p.m in Nacogdoches, Tx. Fighting for their season, they need an uplifting win against the Lumber-Jacks.
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