WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia - Junior Jessica Freeman scored a career-high 20 points to lead five players in double figures as UNCW defeated William and Mary, 78-71, in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball action Sunday at Kaplan Arena.
In a back-and-forth contest that featured a total of eight ties and 15 lead changes, The Seahawks improved to 16-10 overall and 9-6 in the CAA and maintained a share of fourth place in the CAA. The Tribe, meanwhile, slipped to 10-16 and 3-12.
Freeman was 9-of-16 from the floor to highlight a Seahawks lineup that shot 46.7 percent from the field for the contest and matched the program record made three pointers in a contest with 11 as it shot 44 percent from beyond the arc.
Junior Jaclyn McKenna tallied 18 points to lead three William and Mary players in double figures. Senior Taysha Pye pitched in 15 and junior Taylor Hilton notched 12. Senior Katherine DeHenzel handed out a team-high eight assists and pitched in seven points.
Trailing 49-48 with 11:23 remaining, a three-pointer from the right elbow by Andrews sparked a 22-10 spurt for the Seahawks that lasted 6:45 and gave UNCW its largest lead of the game, 70-59, with 4:38 on the clock.
A free-throw by McKenna at the 4:10 mark ended the spurt and sparked the Tribe to a 10-4 run that made it a 74-69 contest spurt with 48 seconds on the clock.
Andrews would push the Seahawks cushion back to eight moments later, hitting one of two free throws before converting a steal and layup opportunity to make it a 77-69 game with 30 seconds remaining. A basket by McKenna and a free throw by Trice determined the final seven-point margin.
In the first half, Pye rattled off seven straight points to give William and Mary a 14-8 lead, only to see the Seahawks score 10 of the next 12 points to take an 18-16 lead midway through the frame.
The two sides would then proceed to trade baskets over the final 11:15 of the first half as neither side would hold a lead of more of three points the rest of the opening stanza. A Garrett three pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer, one of seven in the half for the Seahawks, would give UNCW a 38-35 lead at the break.
The two teams continued to keep it close early in the second half. A 6-2 spurt gave the Seahawks a 46-42 lead, only to see the Tribe score seven of the next nine points to take a 49-48 edge and set up the Seahawks game-changing run.
Both teams return to action Thursday with league contests. UNCW hosts Towson while W&M is at Drexel. Tip off for both games is set for 7 p.m.
The win was the Seahawks seventh straight against the Tribe, giving UNCW its longest winning streak against the Tribe in series history. The win also moved UNCW to 28-30 all-time and 9-21 in Williamsburg versus William and Mary.
The Seahawks scored 70 or more points in a contest for the ninth time this season and remained undefeated when doing so. UNCW also moved to 22-1 under Cooper-Dyke when tallying more than 70 points in a contest.
UNCW had five players reach double figures for the second time this season (North Carolina A&T) and improved to 4-0 under Cooper-Dyke when doing so.
UNCW shot above 40 percent from the floor for the 14th time this season and 13-1 when doing so. The Seahawks also moved to 31-4 under Cooper-Dyke when shooting better than 40 percent from the field.
The Seahawks 11 three-pointers made matched the program mark for most made threes in a game, equaling the total set on three previous occasions, including during UNCW's 69-64 victory at Northeastern on Jan. 26.
UNCW dished out 20 or more assists for the third time this season (at North Carolina A&T and at Old Dominion) and the fifth time under Cooper-Dyke as it finished with 20 assists against the Tribe. It also marked the 24th time this season that the Seahawks have dished out double-figure assists in a contest.
The Seahawks recorded double-figure steals for the 17th time this season as it finished with 13 thefts against the Tribe.
UNCW improved to 10-0 this season and 30-3 under Cooper-Dyke when holding a lead of 10 points or more in a contest.
The Tribe held a 39-37 rebounding advantage in the contest, marking the 19th time this season that UNCW has been out-rebounded in a contest.
UNCW's bench outscored the Tribe's reserves by a 23-17 margin. Freeman tallied 20 of the Seahawks 23 points off the bench. Junior Brittany Gamby tallied the other three points on a three pointer in the first half.