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Women's Basketball
Seahawks Stun VCU With Late Rally, 57-56

Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications  
Release: 01/19/2012
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Jessica Freeman waits for the outlet pass from Ayoola Weaver before scoring two of her team-high 14 points vs. VCU
View larger Courtesy: Joe Browning

Jessica Freeman waits for the outlet pass from Ayoola Weaver before scoring two of her team-high 14 points vs. VCU

WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Sophomore guard Alisha Andrews banked in a runner off the glass with 18 seconds remaining to give UNCW a 57-56 comeback victory over VCU Thursday night in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball action at Trask Coliseum.

The thrilling victory boosted the Seahawks' record to 10-7 on the year and 3-3 in the CAA. The Lady Rams fell to 11-6 and 4-2 in conference play.

Junior guards Jessica Freeman and Tawanna Lee both had 14 points to lead UNCW, which rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half.

Senior forward Courtney Hurt paced VCU with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while senior guard Andrea Barbour added 12.

Trailing by 10 points with 10:13 on the clock, UNCW reeled off 11 unanswered points to climb back into the game and set up the game-winner by Andrews.

VCU was clinging to a 56-55 edge with 32 seconds remaining  after Chelsea McGowen scored on a putback and was fouled.  McGowen missed the free throw, but Andrews recovered the loose ball  in the middle of three VCU defenders. The Seahawks then called timeout with 26 ticks left on the clock.

Off the inbounds, Andrews drove down the right wing towards the paint and let a runner go from just outside the lane, banking the shot home to give UNCW the lead, 57-56. VCU then turned the ball over and Lee was fouled with five seconds remaining. Lee missed both free throw attempts, but the Rams failed to get a shot off before the final buzzer.

UNCW was down by five points, 56-51, with just over a minute remaining when Freeman stepped in front of a pass from Hurt, one of a game-high five steals the Charlotte, N.C., native had on the night. Freeman drove all the way to the basket for the lay-in, cutting the advantage to 56-53.

On the Seahawks' next possession, McGowen grabbed an errant three from Andrews, layed it in with the right hand and drew the foul. After McGowen missed the free throw, Andrews grabbed the loose ball and then made the eventual game-winning shot after the timeout, capping a 9-1 game-ending run.

The win was UNCW's second in three tries against VCU and earns revenge for the Seahawks' 65-53 loss to the Rams on Jan. 8, in which it was VCU who ended the game on a 14-2 run to take the win. UNCW has now claimed 5-of-7, including two-straight.

In the first half, sophomore guard Abria Trice, who finished with eight points, got UNCW on the board 40 seconds into the game with a trey from the left wing. VCU then held the Seahawks scoreless for 5:18, during which time the Rams rattled off an 8-0 run, capped by a step-back jumper from Hurt at the 14:48 mark.

UNCW ended the drought with five quick points off a Lee trey at 14:02 and two free throws from Freeman at 13:37.

VCU rebuilt its lead, however, stretching the advantage to nine, 24-15, on a lay-in from Barbour with 3:27 remaining in the frame.

Andrews sparked the Seahawks back to life with a trey at 2:59, a bucket which ignited a 10-2 UNCW run to close the opening half. Lee capped the run with a three pointer from the right wing with two seconds remaining, sending the Seahawks to the break down only one, 26-25.

Both squads return to action Sunday for 2 p.m. matinees. UNCW embarks on a three-game road trip at Old Dominion, while VCU concludes its three-game swing away from home against George Mason.


  • UNCW's win trimmed its deficit against VCU to 23-17 in the all-time series while improving to 12-6 versus the Rams at home. The win was the second straight and third in four tries at home for UNCW against the Richmond, Va., based school.
  • The one-point win was the smallest margin of victory for UNCW in the all-time series against VCU. The previous closest UNCW decision was four, set on two previous occasions, including last season's overtime contest at Trask.
  • The Seahawks improved to 3-0 this season and 5-1 under Cooper-Dyke in games decided by three points or less.
  • UNCW reached double digits in steals for the sixth straight contest and the 13th time this season. The 15 thefts represent the second-high single-game steal total for the Seahawks this season.
  • UNCW's reserves held s 26-4 advantage over VCU's bench. Junior Jessica Freeman accounted for more than half of the Seahawks' bench point total (14).
  • The Seahawks improved to 4-7 this season and 7-13 under Cooper-Dyke when trailing by 10 points or more in a contest.
  • UNCW moved to 6-1 this season and 14-1 under Cooper-Dyke when holding opponents to 59 points or fewer.
  • The Seahawks reached double-figure assists for the second straight contest and the 16th time this season.
  • UNCW finished with 15 or fewer turnover for the second straight contest and the sixth time this season.
  • The Seahawks were out-rebounded for the fifth straight contest and the 13th time this season. UNCW's 15 defensive rebounds were a season-low, eclipsing the previous mark of 18 set on two previous occasions.


2 - Tawanna Lee

  • Reached double figures in points for the ninth time this season.
  • Paced team in scoring for second time this season.

4 - Alisha Andrews

  • Moved within one three-pointer of becoming the fifth player in program history to reach the century mark in that category with her trey at the 2:59 mark of the first half.

24 - Jessica Freeman

  • Reached double figures for the second straight contest and the sixth time this season.
  • Matched her career high in steals, equaling total set on two previous occasions.
  • Paced team in assists for the 2nd time this season and the 10th time in her career.
  • Led team in scoring for the third time this season and the fourth time in her career. Team improves to 4-0 all-time when she paces them in scoring.

32 - Ayoola Weaver

  • Led team in rebounds for the fourth time this season.

40 - Karneshia Garrett

  • Led team in rebounds for the 11th time this season.


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