WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina - UNCW closed the game on an 11-4 run, but Wake Forest was able to hold off the Seahawks for a 60-59 victory in collegiate women's basketball action Wednesday at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Demon Deacons improved to 2-0 on the young season with the one-point win while the Seahawks moved to 0-2. Both teams return to action Sunday. UNCW travels to Elon for a 7 p.m. contest while Wake Forest is at No. 25 Kansas in a 3 p.m. tip.
Senior Lakevia Boykin led four Wake Forest players in double figures with a game-high 18 points as junior Chelsea Douglas added 14 while senior Asia Williams and sophomore Dearica Hamby pitched in 10 points apiece. Hamby grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and Williams added seven boards and a game-best five assists.
Senior Tawanna Lee and sophomore Kelva Atkins scored 13 points apiece to lead UNCW while senior Chelsea McGowen joined the duo in double figures with 10. McGowen added a career-high 12 rebounds for her second career double-double as the Seahawks held a commanding 50-38 advantage on the glass. Senior Karneshia Garrett pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds and added nine points and a team-high three steals in an all-around effort.
Trailing 56-48 with 3:42 remaining in the contest, a jumper by McGowen sparked the Seahawks to score seven on nine points and pull within three, 56-53, with 1:57 on the clock.
Wake Forest regained its two-possession lead moments later on a jumper by Williams, but back-to-back layups by McGowen pulled the Seahawks within one, 60-59, with just 30 seconds remaining.
The Seahawks would foul on the Demon Deacons next possession and sent Douglas to the line for a one-and-one opportunity. Douglas' free-throw attempt was long and UNCW would gather the rebound with a chance to win the game.
On the final possession of the game, the Seahawks would work the ball to Lee at the right elbow in the final seconds. Lee would get off a three-point attempt just as the final buzzer sounded, but her shot hit the rim and stayed out, allowing the Demon Deacons to escape with the one-point victory.
UNCW got off to a fast start in the first half, knocking down five of its first eight field goal attempts of the game on its way to building an early 13-7 advantage.
The Demon Deacons responded to the Seahawks opening charge, using back-to-back three pointers from Boykins to spark an 18-6 run and take a 25-19 lead with 8:31 remaining in the first half.
A free throw by freshman Dana Brown and a layup by Atkins on back-to-back possessions ended the Wake Forest spurt and started a 9-3 run for the Seahawks that would tie the game at 28-all.
The Demon Deacons would once again counter the Seahawks run, going on an 11-3 spurt that would last more than six minutes and gave Wake Forest its largest lead of the game, 41-31, with 15:03 remaining.
A layup by Mandic would end the spurt and send the Seahawks on an 11-3 run that trimmed the Demon Deacon advantage to two, 44-42, at the 11:15 mark of the frame.
An 8-2 run by the Demon Deacons capped off the UNCW spurt and pushed the Wake Forest cushion to eight, 52-46. The two teams would trade baskets over the next four minutes, setting up the Seahawks late push.
Wednesday's contest marked the eighth meeting all-time between UNCW and Wake Forest. The Seahawks moved to 0-8 all-time against the Demon Deacons. The one-point margin was the closest of the eight meetings between the two programs.
UNCW moved to 2-25 all-time against schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The loss moved the Seahawks to 15-10 against in-state competition since the start of the 2007-08 season. Wake Forest was the first of four Tar Heel State opponents will play in non-conference play this season (Elon, North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T).
Both teams shot below 40 percent from the floor as UNCW was 22-of-65 (.338) while Wake Forest was 23-of-61 (.377).
The Seahawks held a 15-2 edge in second-chance points as they grabbed 16 offensive rebounds. McGowen led the squad with nine offensive boards.
The two teams combined for just 30 turnovers (UNCW 17; Wake Forest 13).
Wake Forest did not have a bench player score a point in the contest as the Seahawks posted a 16-0 edge in that category.
All eight players that saw the floor for UNCW scored at least one point and grabbed two of more rebounds tonight.