Lady Seahawks beat Charleston 67-61, clinch back-to-back wins

Brandon Sans, Staff Writer

UNC Wilmington concluded its two-game homestand with another close victory that reminded basketball fans that there is no such thing as an easy win. The Seahawks improved to 8-12 overall and 3-6 in Colonial Athletic Association play by beating College of Charleston 67-61 on Sunday afternoon.

“Hard fought CAA game. I expected a competitive game,” said UNCW coach Adell Harris. “It is very hard to even be in position to win basketball games.”

UNCW stormed out of the gates with a 17-1 run that provided a nice cushion for the remainder of the game. A strong defensive effort in the first quarter limited Charleston to two made field goal attempts on 15 percent shooting.

The 38-18 halftime lead was the largest of the season for the Seahawks and gave them valuable experience playing with a lead. UNCW needed its early lead during a brutal fourth quarter that saw its 21-point advantage evaporate to three at one point.

“We were sloppy. We were missing assignments at the start of the fourth quarter. I challenged them that this was an opportunity to get better,” said Harris. “I was really trying to get them to accept the challenge of becoming a better basketball team.”

The execution of a full-court press throughout the second half helped Charleston trim the deficit while forcing UNCW to respond to its coach’s challenge.

“College of Charleston is a good team, so when they pressured us it shook us up a little bit,” said Madison Raque. “We kept our composure and it kept us in the game. Our coach was pushing us to get it done and get a win.”

A third win in four games for UNCW seems to have given the team a sense of confidence that was lacking a few weeks ago.

“These positive things keep happening. Amber’s last second shot [on Friday] gave us another push,” said senior Jordan Henry. “It’s fun now and we’re more hungry than ever.”

Henry recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds while Raque had a game-high 18 points including shooting 4-of-8 from three-point range.

UNCW now has exceeded its overall win total from a year ago. It will look to continue its climb in the standings against Delaware on Friday.