Brandi Huff banked in a 10-footer with 51 seconds remaining that put A&M-Corpus Christi ahead to stay 48-47. The Lady Demons failed to score on their two next possessions, sandwiched around a pair of Marilyn Anderson-Sparks free throws with 18 second left to make it a three-point lead for the visitors. Verne’qua Taylor added a clinching free throw with 6.9 seconds to go.
Southland Conference freshman of the year candidate Janelle Perez poured in 18 points for Northwestern (11-17 overall, 6-11 in the conference) and Keisha Lee added 11. Huff led the winners (4-24, 3-14) with 12 points while Jessica Jammer scored 11 and had 10 rebounds, and Alisa Roberts added 10 points.
The Lady Demons led for the game’s first 22 minutes, weathered an Islanders’ rally into a brief lead and opened the night’s biggest lead, 30-22, on a Perez 3-pointer with 12:36 remaining. But they were outscored 15-7 in the final 4:02 as Roberts scored five and Huff added four.
“We did not match their intensity and effort,” said first-year NSU co-head coach Brooke Stoehr. “They came in loose in their last week of the season and outplayed us. I thought we were prepared but we did not respond well coming down the stretch, and they did.”
A&M-Corpus Christi won despite making only 30 percent of its shots, compensating with 22 offensive rebounds and a 45-33 rebounding advantage. Northwestern sank just 34 percent and made 18 turnovers in agame with three ties and seven lead changes.
Perez, a 5-foot-2 point guard, hit 7-of-12 from the floor, including 3-for-5 on 3-pointers. The other NSU players combined to make only 10-of-38 shots.
Senior Jasmine Upchurch snagged 12 rebounds for the Lady Demons, who wrap up their home schedule Saturday afternoon at 1 against Sam Houston State before heading into the Southland Conference Tournament first round next Wednesday afternoon in Katy, Texas.