WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Freshman forward Ryan Flowers had a monster game of 17 points and 20 rebounds to muscle UNCW past William & Mary, 60-59, in a see-saw Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball game Thursday night at Trask Coliseum.

The young Seahawks won their second straight game to improve to 3-16 on the season and 2-3 in the CAA. The Tribe dropped its sixth in a row and stands 3-13 and 0-4.

Flowers, a 6-2 newcomer from Raleigh, N.C., matched her season-high of 12 points at halftime and wound up 8-of-15 from the field to lead the Seahawks with 17 points offensively. Her 20 boards equaled the third highest single game total in school history and fell just two shy of matching Vertha Dixon’s longtime school record set in 1979.

Junior playmaker Kelva Atkins chipped in 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists and freshman guard Amber Reeves collected a career-high 10 points to give the Seahawks three players in double figures.

The Tribe featured two players with double-doubles. Freshman guard Marlena Tremba paced three Tribe players in double digits with 17 points, while junior forward Jazmen Boone added 14 points and 10 rebounds and freshman guard Kaitlyn Mathieu finished with 13 points and 13 caroms.

The two conference rivals locked up in a tight duel and the Tribe gained the upper hand with just over a minute left when the crafty Boone scooped up a shot in the paint to give W&M a slim 59-58 edge.

The Seahawks then had several chances to take the lead on field goal attempts and ensuing offensive rebounds before Atkins drove through traffic to score the decisive bucket with five seconds remaining. W&M got the ball in play quickly, but Kyla Kerstetter’s open three-point field goal attempt on the right wing bounced off the rim, nailing down the second home win of the season for the Seahawks.

No more than five points separated the two teams in the second half and the lead changed seven times in the wild affair. The Tribe shot just 23.1 percent in the final 20 minutes and couldn’t contain Flowers as the Seahawk newcomer dominated inside.

UNCW trailed, 36-31, at halftime and was still behind, 42-38, when the Seahawks made their move. Flowers grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a putback and a short bank shot by Atkins at 13:44 gave UNCW its first lead since the nine-minute mark of the first half, 44-42.

The Seahawks inched out to a 53-48 advantage on D’Asia Cain’s short jumper in the paint at 6:47 before W&M answered again and regained the lead with a six-point spurt, capped by Tremba’s jumper on the right elbow at 4:19 for a 55-53 edge.

The lead then changed hands five more times until Atkins converted the critical basket in traffic in the waning seconds.

Flowers helped the Seahawks get off to a good start, scoring three of the team’s first four buckets as UNCW jumped out to an early 10-6 edge. A jumper in the paint by Kelva Atkins gave the Seahawks a four-point advantage at 17:06.

But W&M reeled off 10 consecutive points behind Tremba and Mathieu for a 26-21 lead. Mathieu started the spurt with a basket inside and added a free throw at the five-minute mark as the Tribe took control.

The Tribe pushed its lead to six points, 33-27, on a three-pointer by Kerstetter with 3:04 left in the first period and then took a 36-31 lead at the break on a Tremba’s three trey of the half.

UNCW closed out the half shooting 50 percent and just one shy of its season-high in the scoring column, but 10 offensive rebounds and five three-balls enabled the Tribe to grab a narrow lead at the half.

The Seahawks conclude a two-game homestand on Sunday with a 2 p.m. matchup against James Madison. The Tribe returns to Kaplan Arena to entertain Towson Sunday at 2 p.m.

 

GAME NOTES:

 

  • UNCW picked up its ninth victory in its last 10 contests against William & Mary to move to 30-31 all-time against the Tribe. The Seahawks also improved their home record versus W&M to 19-9 as they recorded their fifth win in their last six tries against the Tribe on their home floor.
  • The win gave the Seahawks a one-point victory in consecutive contests for the first time in program history as it defeated Towson, 54-53, on Jan. 19. It also marked the first time since the 2011-12 season that the Seahawks have won a pair of one-point games in the same season.
  • UNCW enjoyed a commanding 48-28 advantage in points in the paint, highlighted by a 28-14 margin in the first half.
  • The Seahawks improved to 1-14 this season and 24-84 since the start of the 2007-08 season when trailing at halftime.
  • UNCW dished out double-digit assists for the seventh time this season as it finished with 11 assists on 26 made baskets.
  • The Seahawks shot above 40 percent from the floor for the seventh time this season as it was 26-of-60 (.433) from the field for the contest.
  • UNCW was 0-of-6 from 3-point range for the contest, marking the first time in 155 games that it failed to make at least one 3-point field goal in a game (Feb. 5, 2009 at VCU).
  • The Seahawks held their opponent below 40 percent shooting from the field for the second straight contest and the fourth time this season as it limited William & Mary to just 31.1 percent (23-of-74) from the floor. The 31.1 percent success rate for the Tribe represented a season low for a UNCW opponent.
  • UNCW shot 50 percent or lower from the free-throw line for the sixth time this season as it was 8-of-16 at the charity stripe for the contest.
  • The contest featured a total of seven ties and eight lead changes as neither team led by more than six points in the contest.

 

PLAYER NOTES:

 

3 – Kelva Atkins

 

  • Reached double figures in points for the 16th time this season and the 32nd time in her career.
  • Led team in scoring for the 15th time this season and the 21st time in her career.
  • Matched her career high in rebounds with eight, equaling total set on four previous occasions.
  • Led team in assists for the 15th time this season and the 29th time in her career.

22 – Amber Reeves

 

  • Reached double figures in scoring for the first time in her career.
  • Established new season high in points, surpassing previous personal best of nine, set on two previous occasions.

 

45 – Ryan Flowers

 

  • Reached double figures in points for the third time this season.
  • Established a new season high in points, shattering previous personal best of 12 set on two occasions.
  • Reached double figures in rebounds for the fourth time this season.
  • Established a new season high in rebounds, shattering previous season high of 13 set against Northern Kentucky on Nov. 16.
  • Led her team in rebounding for the seventh time this season.
  • Posted her second double-double of the season and her first since a 12-point, 12-rebound effort against Iowa on Nov. 30. 
  • Became just the just the fifth player in program history to finish with 20 or more rebounds in a contest. Finished one carom shy of matching Sherri Crumpler for freshman rebounding record (21, set by Crumpler versus Coastal Carolina on Feb. 3, 1981).