WBB Preview: Georgia State
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW women's basketball team makes its lone appearance in the Peach State on Thursday as it takes on Georgia State in a 7 p.m. Colonial Athletic Association contest at the GSU Sports Arena.
Thursday's contest marks the first of two meetings between UNCW and Georgia State this season. The Seahawks and Panthers will square off again in Trask Coliseum on Feb. 29 in a game that will serve as the regular-season finale for both sides.
Currently tied with Drexel for fourth place in the CAA standings, the Seahawks (14-8; 7-4 CAA) begin a stretch of three of the next four games away from home with Thursday matchup against the Panthers after posting an 80-77 victory over William and Mary on Sunday that gave the squad its sixth win in the last seven outings.
Junior guard Tawanna Lee scored a career-high 21 points and matched her personal best with six assists to guide a UNCW lineup that shot 44.6 percent from the floor and dished out 18 assists against the Tribe.
Sophomore guard Abria Trice and junior forward Ayoola Weaver both recorded double-doubles for UNCW. Trice posted 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Weaver compiled 11 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Junior forward Chelsea McGowen added a career-high 12 markers to round out the quartet of double-figure scorers.
"I was not pleased with our effort against William and Mary on Sunday," said UNCW Head Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke. "In the CAA, you must approach every game with the same level of intensity and I felt that we did not do so against the Tribe. That is something we have to address going forward if we are going to be successful over the final month of the regular season and in post-season play."
Featuring a five-member freshmen class has seen extensive playing time this season, Georgia State (7-15, 1-10 CAA) eyes its second consecutive home victory after knocking off visiting Northeastern, 81-74, on Feb. 2. The Panthers missed an opportunity to sweep both of its games last week, suffering an overtime setback at Towson, 63-59, on Sunday.
Sophomore guard Kendra Long stands as the leading scorer (11.4) for second-year Head Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener's squad. Lone senior Chan Harris is second on the team in scoring (10.3) while pacing the team in both rebounding (8.1) and blocked shots (1.6). Junior Jerlisa Taylor serves as the team's top assist distributor, having dished out 64 assists in 22 games.
"Georgia State is a young team that has faced its share of growing pains this season," said UNCW Head Coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke. "Coach Baldwin-Tener has her squad playing well as we head into the final month of the season, so they will not be an easy out for any team, especially at home. The Panthers are a team that will look to dictate tempo, so we must be ready to complete and not allow them to keep us from playing our game."Thursday's contest marks the 14th meeting between Georgia State and UNCW. All but one of the previous 13 meetings has taken place since the Panthers joined the CAA prior to the start of the 2005-06 season. The Panthers hold a 7-6 edge in the series, but UNCW posted a 74-49 victory in their last meeting on Feb. 17, 2011 at Trask Coliseum to halt the Panthers four-game winning streak in the series.
The Seahawks return home after their visit to Atlanta to welcome Old Dominion to Trask Coliseum Sunday for a 2 p.m. matinee. The contest will serve as the team's Play 4Kay/Molly Maid Pink Game, with the team debuting its brand-new pink uniforms and other apparel in support of breast cancer awareness.