Andrews' Aerial Assault Nets UNCW Win
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Sophomore guard Alisha Andrews lit up the floor with 22 points, including a career-high six three-pointers, to lead UNCW past Georgia State, 64-54, on Senior Night in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball action Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawk victory ensured a rematch between the squads in the opening round of the CAA Women's Basketball Championships on March 8. UNCW improved to 18-11, 11-7 in conference play, and finishes in a tie for fourth with Hofstra in the league standings, but claimd the No. 5 seed by way of tiebreakers. The Panthers dropped to 8-21, 2-16 in league action, and finished as the No. 12 team in the CAA.
Senior forward Theresa Jackson-Henderson, who was honored before her final home contest as a Seahawk, made the most of her first career start with career-highs in boards and points, posting 14 and seven, respectively. Junior forward Karneshia Garrett added a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Junior center Cody Paulk paced GSU with 16 points, while senior forward Chan Harris notched 14 markers and a team-high eight boards. The duo shot a combined 12-of-21 from the floor, but were two of the only effective elements of the Panthers' offense on the night.
Early in the second half, the Seahawks were still holding a slim 25-23 lead when one of Andrews' five three-pointers in the frame sparked a 15-4 run. Garrett concluded the streak with a layup at the 13:37 mark to give UNCW the 40-27 lead.
GSU battled back, creating a 10-2 run of its own to cut the Seahawks' advantage to 42-37 off a jumper from Paulk at the 9:52 mark.
But UNCW answered behind two more treys from Andrews, boosting the advantage back to 10 at 48-38. The Seahawks held sway for the remainder of the contest, never allowing the Panthers to pull within six.
Both squads struggled shooting the ball at the start of the contest. A layup from Garrett with 17:51 left in the half gave UNCW a 6-3 lead, but neither team scored for the next five minutes of action.
By the time GSU's junior guard Tiffany Anderson broke the scoreless drought at 12:14 to cut the Seahawks' lead to 6-5, the teams had started a combined 3-of-22 from the field.
With UNCW still clinging to a 13-12 lead at 5:27, Garrett deposited two of her 10 first half markers to spark a 12-6 run to give the Seahawks their largest lead of the half, 25-18. Andrews capped the run by draining a trey with 1:58 remaining in the half.
Two Panther free throws in the final minute, one by both junior guard Jerlisa Taylor and junior center Cody Paulk, concluded the halftime scoring as UNCW went into the break with a 25-20 advantage.
The two squads are off until a week from Thursday when they meet again in the opening round of the CAA Tournament. It will be the first meeting between the Seahawks and the Panthers in the conference championships.
4 - Alisha Andrews
40 - Karneshia Garrett