WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia - UNCW closed the game on an 11-0 run to complete a double-digit comeback and defeat William & Mary, 61-52, in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball action Tuesday at Kaplan Arena.
Trailing by as many as 14 in the second half, the Seahawks improved to 2-11 overall and leveled their CAA mark at 1-1 as they picked up their first road victory in eight tries this season. The Tribe, meanwhile, slipped to 2-11 and 0-2 as they suffered their eighth straight setback.
Senior Tawanna Lee scored a game-high 16 points, all in the second half, and sophomore Kelva Atkins notched 13 of her 15 points in the final 20 minutes to lead three Seahawk players in double figures as the Seahawks shot a season-high 48.9 percent from the floor, including 9-of-16 (.563) from three-point range.
Redshirt junior Jessica Freeman joined Atkins and Lee in double figures with 12 points. Senior Karneshia Garrett grabbed seven rebounds and Atkins added six as the Seahawks posted a 33-26 advantage on the glass.
Seniors Janine Aldridge and Emily Correal tallied 12 points each to lead William & Mary. Correal pulled down a game-high eight rebounds while Aldridge and sophomore Jazmen Boone notched four steals apiece as the Tribe forced the Seahawks into a season-high 27 turnovers.
Trailing 52-50 with 2:18 on the clock, a three-pointer from the right elbow and driving layup by Atkins ignited the decisive run and put the Seahawks in front, 55-52, with just 73 seconds remaining.
The Seahawks forced the Tribe into a turnover on its next possession and Freeman was sent to the line, where she knocked down both free throws to give the Seahawks a 57-52 cushion with 56 seconds left to play.
The Tribe would miss its next two field goal attempts and Freeman and Lee would split a pair of one-and-one opportunities to give UNCW a 59-52 edge. An Atkins steal and layup with 10 seconds remaining would determine the final nine-point margin.
Earlier in the contest, UNCW raced out to an early 12-0 lead as it converted four of its first six field goal attempts, including three from beyond the arc, to build a quick double-digit advantage.
The Tribe would respond to the spurt, using a three-pointer from Aldridge to spark a 17-4 run that gave the Tribe their first lead of the contest, 17-16, with 7:29 on the clock.
Back-to-back layups by Atkins and Garrett would stem the William & Mary run and put the Seahawks back in front, 20-17, only to see the Tribe notch six of the last eight points of the frame to begin a 23-6 spurt that lasted to the 14:00 mark of the second half and stretched the Tribe's lead to its largest margin, 40-26.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Lee would turn the tide in favor of the Seahawks, however, as UNCW rattled off 13 unanswered points to ignite a 24-8 run that put UNCW in front for the first time in the frame, 50-48, with just over five minutes remaining.
The two sides would go more than 90 seconds between points before back-to-back layups by Correal and Kestler would give the Tribe a 52-50 advantage and set up the Seahawks critical run.
UNCW is back in action Sunday as it hosts Drexel in a 1 p.m. matinee at Trask Coliseum. William & Mary returns to the court Thursday with a 7 p.m. contest at Northeastern.
UNCW picked up its eighth straight victory
against William & Mary as it trimmed its deficit in the all-time series to 28-30.
The Seahawks also picked up their fourth straight victory at Kaplan Arena as
they moved to 10-21 all-time on the road against the Tribe.
The Seahawks shot above 40 percent from the
floor for the third time this season and the first time in eight games. UNCW
moved to 2-1 this season when shooting better than 40 percent from the floor in
UNCW picked up its first victory this season when
trailing by double figures in a contest as it moved to 1-8 this season in that category.
The Seahawks also improved to 12-68 since the start of the 2000-01 season when
falling behind by double figures in a contest.
The Seahawks knocked down a season-high nine
three-pointers in the contest, breaking the previous season high of five, set
on five previous occasions.
UNCW committed a season-high 27 turnovers
against the Tribe, breaking the previous season high of 23, set in the season
opener at West Virginia.
The Seahawks out-rebounded an opponent just the
third time this season and the second time in three games.
UNCW recorded double-digit assists for the
seventh time this season as it finished with 14 assists. Sophomore Kelva Atkins
led the way with a season-high six assists.
The Seahawks recorded double-digit steals for
the third time this season as they finished with a season-high 14 thefts.
Junior Jessica Freeman led all players with a season-high six steals.
William & Mary held a 32-22 advantage in
points in the paint, highlighted by a 16-10 advantage in the first half.
UNCW's bench out-scored the William & Mary
bench, 18-13, as Lee accounted for 16 of the Seahawks' reserves points.
Sophomore Jovana Mandic accounted for the other two points off the bench for
The Seahawks picked up their first victory this
season when trailing at halftime in a contest. UNCW was 0-10 this season when
trailing at intermission this season prior to tonight's contest.