49ers Strike Late To Edge Seahawks
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Senior guard Jai Forney keyed a late 12-2 spurt to propel Charlotte past UNCW, 63-58, in women's basketball action Wednesday at Trask Coliseum.
The 49ers won their third road game without a loss and improved to 5-2 on the season. The Seahawks, playing their fourth state foe in six games, stands 1-5 and had its home record evened at 1-1.
"I'm proud of our kids. We put ourselves in a position to win the game," said Adell Harris, UNCW's first-year coach. "I thought the game plan overall was very effective. We followed the game plan and executed."
Junior guard Ny Hammonds paced Charlotte with a career-high 21 points, including 12 in the second half when the 49ers finally gained separation in the close contest. Senior forward Jennifer Hailey chipped in eight points and 13 boards, surpassing the 800-rebound milestone in her career.
Sophomore guard Kelva Atkins led the Seahawks with a career-high 20 points. Senior forward Karneshia Garrett added her third double-double of the season and ninth of her career with 15 points and 13 rebounds and senior guard Tawanna Lee collected 10.
The two teams were locked in a tight game until Forney rallied the 49ers down the stretch, scoring seven points in the decisive spurt and helping the 49ers avenge a one-point loss to the Seahawks last season in Charlotte.
After Garrett gave the Seahawks a slim 52-51 lead with 5:53 left in the game, Forney connected along the left baseline to give the 49ers the lead for good, 53-52, and added another bucket on a layup. The 49ers, who made just 7-of-15 free throws in the second half, held the Seahawks to two field goals in the final 6:40 to pull out the win.
Leading by 25-24 at the break, UNCW opened the second half with a flurry and scored eight of the first 10 points to build a 33-26 cushion at 18:40.
But Charlotte rallied with a 13-2 run to take control and grab its first lead since 11:59 of the first half. The 49ers scored four straight points to slice the lead to 33-30 and after Chelsea McGowen made a layup, Charlotte reeled off nine straight points to move ahead, 39-35, with 14:38 remaining.
The two teams traded buckets over the next five minutes and Charlotte still led, 47-43, when Hillary Sigmon stepped to the line and connected on a pair of free throws at 9:37.
Three different players scored for UNCW, however, and Atkins scored on a running layup at 7:37 as UNCW regained the lead, 48-47, with 7:37 on the clock.
Atkins scored seven of UNCW's first 12 points to get the Seahawks off to a good start. UNCW grabbed an early 10-6 edge when Atkins canned a triple from the left corner at 15:43.
UNCC then answered with an 8-0 run to take a 16-12 advantage, capped by a gliding bank shot by Shequana Harris that put the 49ers in front, 16-12, with 11:59 left in the first period.
But the Seahawks responded with a 5-0 spurt and Lee's three-pointer - her first bucket of the contest - gave UNCW the lead back, 17-16, at 11:22.
UNCW stretched the margin to 19-16 with a 7-0 spurt behind Atkins, who made a floater in the lane as the Seahawks maintained the lead, 19-16. The lead increased to 25-20 on a putback by Garrett before the 49ers finished the first half on a strong note.
UNCC struggled offensively early, going 3:30 without a field goal at one point, before Amanda Dowe sank a shot from the left baseline to cut the deficit to 19-18 at 6:32. Still trailing, 25-20, Charlotte sliced the halftime deficit to 25-24 when Sigmon made a jump shot on the right elbow and Hammonds converted a driving layup with four seconds left in the half.
The Seahawks return to action Saturday with a 7 p.m. matchup against the Flames in Lynchburg, Va. UNCC entertains Stetson on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Halton Arena.
GAME NOTES: Wednesday's contest was the opener of a men's-women's doubleheader at Trask Coliseum...The 49ers had just nine turnovers after committing 27 apiece in their previous two contests ... Charlotte won the rebounding battle, 45-40 ... The 49ers entered the game 10th in the nation in rebound margin (+13.7) ... The two teams combined for 6-of-26 from three-point range ... No more than seven points separated the two teams in the game...There were four ties and nine lead changes ... Ny Hammonds was the lone Charlotte player in double figures ... The 49ers posted an 11-2 advantage in points off the bench ... The Seahawks posted double-figure assists for the third time this season as UNCW finished with 11 assists ... UNCW was held below 40 percent shooting for the first time in three games as they finished the game shooting 23-of-58 (.397) from the floor ... The Seahawks moved to 1-3 this season against in-state competition ... They will play one more Tar Heel State opponent this season when they take on North Carolina A&T on Jan. 3 ... The two teams combined for 68 points in the paint (UNCW 36, Charlotte 32) ... The two teams ended the game shooting less than 60 percent from the free-throw line (UNCW 8-of-14 (.571), Charlotte 9-of-19 (.474)).
0 - Tawanna Lee
3 - Kelva Atkins
40 - Karneshia Garrett