WBB Preview: Hofstra
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW women's basketball team takes to the road for the final time during the 2011-12 regular season as it heads to the Empire State Sunday for a 2 p.m. matinee versus Hofstra.
With only two games remaining in the regular season, Sunday's matchup between the Seahawks and the Pride will play a large role in determining seeding for the upcoming 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Women's Basketball Championship as both teams are part of a three-way tie with Drexel for third place at 10-6 in league play. The top four teams in the final regular-season standings will receive a first-round bye to the 12-team event, scheduled for March 8-11 at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.
The Seahawks (17-10; 10-6 CAA) enter Sunday's matchup with the Pride winners of its last two contests after a 53-51 victory over Towson at home on Thursday.
Junior Karneshia Garrett tied a career high with 21 points and added 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double to lead UNCW in the two-point victory, the Seahawks sixth one-possession triumph of the season. Sophomore Abria Trice joined Garrett in double figures with 11 points as the Seahawks shot exactly 40 percent from the floor and committed a season-low nine turnovers.
Sophomore point guard Alisha Andrews remains the team's lone double-figure scorer (12.3) while three players - Garrett (9.7), Trice (9.4) and junior Tawanna Lee (9.8) - are all averaging more than nine points per game. Andrews has maintained her position as the team's top playmaker (4.7), while Lee is just behind her (3.7) as the duo recently became just the third set of UNCW teammates to record more than 100 assists apiece in the same season.
Hofstra (18-9; 10-6 CAA) wraps up the home portion of its 2011-12 schedule on Sunday following an 80-61 setback at James Madison on Thursday.
Junior Shante Evans has served as the focal point of the Pride lineup as she has averaged a double-double of 18.4 points and 10.1 rebounds to rank among the top five players in the league in both categories. Sophomore Katelyn Loper (13.1) and senior Nicole Capurso (11.3) provide scoring depth to a Pride lineup that ranks first in the CAA in scoring offense (75.4). Senior Candice Bellocchio has served as the quarterback of the Hofstra attack, ranking first in the league in assists per game (6.1) to go along with a 9.7 scoring clip.
Sunday's contest marks the 21th meeting between Hofstra and UNCW. The Seahawks hold an 11-9 lead in the series following a sweep of their two meetings versus the Pride a season ago. All 20 previous meetings have come since the Pride joined the CAA prior to the start of the 2001-02 season.
UNCW completes its regular-season slate Feb. 29 as it hosts Georgia State in a 7 p.m. contest at Trask Coliseum.