Islanders hold off Sugar Bears in final seconds

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi used a 3-pointer with two seconds left then held off the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears in the final seconds, 45-42, Thursday night.

With the game tied at 42, Courtney Duever appeared to give the Sugar Bears (15-8, 9-3 Southland) a lead with 17 seconds to go, but the basket was disallowed because of a a charging call. On the ensuing possession, the Islanders (13-11, 6-7) reclaimed the lead as Jasmine Shaw stepped back for a 3-pointer with just two seconds remaining.

After a timeout, the Sugar Bears got the ball to Micah Rice for a last-second attempt to tie, but the clock started early, resulting in an officials review after Rice’s attempt missed the mark. The officials put 1.8 seconds back on the clock, giving UCA one more shot to force overtime. Rice’s shot from at halfcourt rolled off the front of the rim, sending UCA to just its second loss in its last nine games.

“I’m disappointed in our performance,” said UCA coach Sandra Rushing. “Our shot selection was awful tonight. We got outhustled, outrebounded, and we’d draw something up in the huddle and they wouldn’t run it. This was absolutely a very disappointing game.”

The Sugar Bears began the game 0 for 12 from the field.

UCA took its first lead six minutes into the second half, going ahead 25-24 on a reverse layup by Brittany Agee, who then found the mark a minute and a half later to push the UCA lead to three. The Sugar Bears led up until the 6:23 mark when Shaw tied it up at 35 with a 3-pointer, but UCA held the lead the rest of the way, save for three ties, up until Shaw’s final go-ahead basket in the final seconds.

Duever had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead UCA, getting her 11th double-double of the season. She also added a team-high three assists. Brianna Mullins added 10 points, while Rice had 9 on three 3-pointers.

The Islanders out-rebounded the Sugar Bears 41-36, and made 12 of 14 free throws while UCA was four of five. Despite missing their first 12 shots, the Sugar Bears ended the game with the higher field goal percentage, shooting 31.5 percent to the Islanders’ 28,3.

UCA will wrap up its road swing at Houston Baptist on Saturday, facing the Huskies at 3 p.m..

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