WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Junior Kelva Atkins sank a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to erase a one-point deficit and lift UNCW to a 60-59 victory over Towson in a Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball game Sunday at Trask Coliseum.

The Seahawks improved to 4-24 overall and 3-11 in CAA play as they halted an eight-game losing skid. The Tigers, meanwhile, move to 12-15 and 6-8 with the one-point setback.

Atkins led the Seahawks for the 18th time this season with a game-high 23 points as she was 8-of-14 from the floor and a perfect 7-of-7 at the free-throw line to pace a UNCW attack that shot 41.2 percent from field and 73.7 percent at the charity stripe for the contest. Freshman Brie Mobley joined Atkins in double figures with 11 while fellow freshman Naqaiyyah Teague added nine markers. Freshman forward Ryan Flowers pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds to highlight a 35-26 advantage on the glass for UNCW.  

 

Junior forward LaTorri Hines-Allen led Towson with 22 points on the strength of an 11-of-14 effort from the field to power a Tigers attack that shot 50.9 percent from the field for the game. Senior guard Tanisha McTiller added 15 and sophomore Dominique Johnson pitched in 12, all of which came in the second half.

UNCW won the first meeting between the two teams, 54-53, on Jan. 19 at Towson and Sunday’s matchup turned into another tight contest that came down to the final seconds.

Trailing 59-55, freshman Amber Reeves swished in a three-pointer in front of the Seahawk bench with 7.9 seconds on the clock to narrow the UNCW deficit to 59-58.

The Seahawks would foul Towson’s Ciara Webb on the Tigers next possession, sending the junior to the free-throw line for a one-and-one opportunity. Webb would miss her first free throw, but the rebound would eventually go out of bounds off a UNCW player with only two seconds remaining.   

On the ensuing inbounds play, Atkins was able to intercept the Tigers’ pass and draw a foul at midcourt with 1.4 seconds showing on the clock. Atkins stepped to the line and calmly knocked down both of her free throw attempts to give the Seahawks a 60-59 lead.

Towson was able to get one last look at the basket as their inbounds pass went off a UNCW defender at midcourt with seven-tenths of a second showing on the clock. The Tigers tied to find Hines-Allen at the basket for a tip-in play, but the Seahawks were able to knock the ball out of harm’s way to preserve the one-point victory.

Earlier in the contest, the Seahawks carried a 28-27 lead into halftime after rallying from an 11-point deficit early in the opening frame.

The two teams would keep it close early in the second half as no more than three points separated the two teams until the Tigers rattled off eight consecutive points and forged out to a 55-48 advantage on a layup by Johnson at the 5:08 mark.

The Seahawks rallied again and closed within two points, 57-55, on a nifty layup by Atkins with 2:19 left to play.

After a missed field goal attempt, Towson capitalized on its possession when Hines-Allen drove inside and banked a shot in from close rang3 to extend the lead to 59-55 with 15.2 seconds left, setting up the final sequence of events.

The Seahawks return to the floor on Thursday with a 7 p.m. tip-off at Drexel. Towson returns to SECU Arena for its home finale on Mar. 2 against the College of Charleston.

 

TEAM NOTES:

 

  • UNCW improved to 15-9 all-time against Towson as they defeated the Tigers for the eighth time in their last 10 matchups. The Seahawks also moved to 8-3 all-time against Towson at Trask Coliseum.
  • The contest featured a total of eight ties and nine lead changes. Eight of the nine lead changes occurred in the second half.
  • The two teams combined for just five bench points, with UNCW holding a slim 3-2 margin in that category.
  • Hines-Allen and McTiller combined to score 21 of Towson’s 27 points in the first half while Atkins and Mobley tallied 19 of the UNCW’s 28 points in the opening frame.
  • The Seahawks improved to 4-0 this season in one-possession games this season as all four of their wins this season have been by three points or fewer.
  • UNCW shot 40 percent or better from the floor for the ninth time this season and moved to 3-6 on the campaign when doing so.
  • UNCW shot better than 70 percent at the free-throw line for just the eighth time this season.
  • The Seahawks out-rebound their opponent for just the seventh time this season and moved to 2-5 on the campaign when doing so.
  • UNCW scored 60 or more points in a contest for the sixth time this season and moved to 3-3 when doing so.
  • UNCW won its first game of the season when trailing by 10 or more points in the contest as they erased an 11-point Towson advantage. The Seahawks had been 0-24 this season when trailing by 10 or more points in a contest.
  • The Seahawks led at halftime for just the sixth time this season and improved to 3-3 overall when doing so.
  • UNCW knocked down four or more three-pointers for just the seventh time this season and the first time since making 4-of-18 attempts from downtown at Wake Forest on Dec. 16.

 

PLAYER NOTES:

 

2 – Brie Mobley

 

  • Reached double figures in points for the 15th time this season.

3 – Kelva Atkins

 

  • Reached double figures in points for the 23rd time this season and the 39th time in her career.
  • Led team in scoring for the 18th time this season and the 24th time in her career.
  • Surpassed the 20-point plateau for the fourth time this season and the sixth time in her career.

 

45 – Ryan Flowers

 

  • Grabbed double digits rebounds for the eighth time this season.
  • Led UNCW in rebounding for the 13th this season.
  • Moved into sixth place on the program’s freshman rebounding list as her 12 caroms against the Tigers moved her past Sahsha Taylor. Has now grabbed 215 caroms this season.