|Tigers Hold Off Seahawks In Home Finale|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Towson strung together a 11-3 spurt midway through the second half to hold off UNCW, 66-57, in the women's basketball home finale for the Seahawks Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Tigers won their third straight contest to improve to 12-17 overall and 6-12 in the CAA. The Seahawks lost their fifth in a row and stand 3-25 and 2-15.
CAA Player-of-the-Week Tanisha McTiller scored 13 points to lead a balanced scoring attack for the Tigers, who swept the regular season series after winning, 55-53, in late January in Maryland. The slippery McTiller added 11 rebounds, while senior forward Michelle Peebles scored 14 points and junior guard Nyree Williams had 10.
Senior guard Tawanna Lee paced three Seahawks in double figures with 16 points. Sophomore guard Kelva Atkins added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists and senior forward Karneshia Garrett finished with 10 points and 11 boards for her 13th double-double of the season.
With the loss, the Seahawks closed 2-11 at home in Adell Harris' first season with the club. UNCW defeated N.C. Central and Georgia State on its home floor this year.
UNCW also set a school record for three-point field goal attempts in Wednesday's defeat, going 10-of-31 behind the arc, eclipsing the old record of 28 set against Northeastern on Jan. 26, 2012.
In the rematch with Towson, the Tigers scored eight of the first nine points in the second half to extend their six-point halftime lead to 39-36. A jumper on the right baseline by reserve forward Markell Smith pushed the advantage to 39-26 with 16:47 remaining.
Still trailing 45-33 with just under 14 minutes left to play, the Seahawks sliced the deficit to 47-41 when Lee heated up. The senior from St. Rose, La., sank a trey from the left wing and then added a layup at 10:39 to close the gap to six points.
But Smith scored on a putback to start the decisive rally and two minutes later the Towson lead ballooned to 56-44 when Dominique Johnson banged in a triple from the left side of the court at 7:10.
UNCW made two more runs at the Tigers and narrowed the lead to 62-57 on Jessica Freeman's trifecta with 59 seconds remaining, but Towson closed out the game by sinking four consecutive free throws - two each by McTiller and Johnson - in the final 51 seconds to seal the road win.
UNCW jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead after connecting on five of its first eight field goal attempts. A layup by Atkins gave the Seahawks a six-point lead out of the gate.
The Tigers, behind Alliyah Berger, dialed long distance and used a 9-0 run to pull ahead, 15-11. Berger drained all three of her trey attempts and scored her only points of the game in a four-minute stretch as Towson capitalized on eight consecutive misses by the Seahawks to gain control.
Towson registered its largest lead of the opening period when Williams sank a pair of free throws and added a layup at 3:03 for a 29-20 advantage.
Towson then took a 31-25 lead into the break behind 10 points and five rebounds from Williams and seven boards by McTiller.
The Seahawks travel to Boston on Saturday for a rescheduled game with Northeastern at 2 p.m.
GAME NOTES: UNCW leads the all-time series with Towson, 13-9...The Seahawks stand 7-3 against the Tigers in Wilmington...Redshirt junior guard Brittany Gamby played the first 10 seconds of the contest and drained a triple from the right corner...UNCW had just 10 turnovers...It was the final home appearance for seniors Karneshia Garrett and Tawanna Lee...The Seahawks shot 37.1 percent on 23-of-62 field goals...Towson owned a 38-31 edge on the glass...Towson ended up 4-10 on the road this season...Garrett and Lee finished with four personal fouls apiece...UNCW attempted just four free throws and made one...Towson outscored UNCW at the free throw line, 14-1...Garrett recorded a double-double for the ninth time in the last 12 outings.