Extra crispy: Crisp leads women’s hoops late, Seahawks stave-off ECU

Brandon Sans, Assistant Sports Editor

In just its second game, the hype surrounding UNC Wilmington’s women’s basketball team continued to build in a 66-62 win over East Carolina (1-1) in Trask Coliseum on Wednesday night.

UNCW (2-0) continued to shoot the ball well from three-point range, connecting on 8-of-15 shots in the win including 6-of-8 in the first half.

Shots were boosted by redshirt sophomore Jenny DeGraaf. She made her first three attempts from beyond the arc to set the tone early in a game, one in which the Seahawks needed every point to stave off a late-game comeback by the Pirates.

Suggs off the bench

How sophomore Lacey Suggs played a total of seven minutes in her freshman year is anyone’s guess. Named a team co-captain before this season, Suggs continued to impress with her gritty style of play that led to the foul line on multiple occasions.

Suggs scored 16 points in the first half, ending with 20 total after she got into foul trouble late. It was Suggs’ second-straight game with four fouls, something she must manage with her aggressive style of play moving forward.

“You just have to keep calm, know what to do and when to do it,” said Suggs. “It feels great, I’m glad to be out there.”

Full-court mess

Things nearly unraveled for the Seahawks in the fourth quarter when they could not solve the Pirates full-court press and turned the ball over seven times in the period.

After an early three from DeGraaf, the Seahawks went almost six minutes without a field goal as the Pirates clawed back to tie the game. UNCW was able to refocus and break the press, which led to late layups by guard Moriah Crisp and Suggs to give itself control of the game again.

“The pressure kept building up,” said UNCW coach Karen Barefoot. “That’s what happens when you’re playing a really good basketball team. We just tried to take a deep breath and stay in the moment.”

Extra Crispy

After its 16-point lead evaporated in the final quarter, UNCW needed someone to step up. Its shortest player, the 5-foot-2 Crisp, was the one to respond.

Crisp tallied seven of her 17 points in the fourth quarter while the rest of the Seahawks combined to score five. Her late-game layup heroics, combined with leading the Seahawks’ defensive effort, allowed just East Carolina field goal in the final four minutes.

“My mindset is always to remain calm,” said Crisp. “As a point guard, I have to keep my head up and remain calm and composed. Even when we turned it over, I had to remind myself we had a game going on.”

Up Next: UNCW will hit the road in for the first time in the Barefoot era with back-to-back away games starting Saturday at Coastal Carolina followed by a power five match-up with North Carolina in Chapel Hill next Wednesday.

Like this story? Check out The Seahawk’s photo gallery from the game here.

Assistant Sports Editor Brandon Sans can be found on Twitter @bsans10. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to uncwseahawksports@gmail.com. For video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.