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UNCW women's basketball team vaults into first place tie in CAA

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WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) -- UNCW rattled the nation's 25th best defense with 52.1 percent shooting to drill visiting Delaware, 66-48, in a Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball game Thursday night at Trask Coliseum.

The Seahawks, ranked 23rd in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, won their fourth straight and moved into a four-way tie for first place in the CAA by improving to 13-4 overall and 5-1 in the circuit. UNCW is tied with Old Dominion, James Madison and VCU for the top spot in the balanced league.

The Blue Hens suffered their second straight loss and fell to 10-7 and 3-3.

Senior guard Brittany Blackwell reached double figures for the 14th time this season to lead the way for UNCW with 21 points. She went a perfect 9-for-9 from the field and added 10 rebounds for her fifth double double of the season and the 30th of her storied career.

Senior center Martha White added 14 points and eight boards for the Seahawks, who dominated the inside by scoring 36 points in the paint. Freshman point guard Alisha Andrews chipped in nine points and six assists in 40 minutes.

Sophomore guard Lauren Carra paced UD with 13 points and sophomore forward Danielle Parker collected 10 points and six boards for the Blue Hens.

The Seahawks kicked off a stretch of four home games in five outings by jumping out to a big lead early and cruising down the stretch. UNCW shot 53.8 percent in the first 20 minutes, connecting on 15-for-28 from the floor, while holding the Blue Hens to a sub-par 28 percent on just 7-for-25 shooting.

UNCW used its hot hand to streak out to a 36-23 lead at intermission and scored the first five points of the second half to add to its cushion. Andrews stole an errant pass and raced downcourt for a layup to give UNCW its largest lead of the game, 41-23, at 18:54.

The Blue Hens responded with an 11-2 run behind Carra and Vanessa Kabongo to close the gap to nine points, but it was as close as Tina Martin's squad could get. Carra scored five points and Kabongo added four in the spurt. A jumper on the right elbow by Jasmine Gibson capped the run and sliced the deficit to 43-34 with just over 14 minutes left on the clock.

However, Kristen Hanzer and Blackwell made baskets and White added a free throw on a 5-0 mini-run to erase any comeback hopes by the Blue Hens.

After Delaware scored the first five points of the contest, Jessica Freeman got the Seahawks going with a pair of three-point plays, one from behind the arc and the other of the conventional variety. The sophomore from Charlotte stole an inbounds pass, was fouled and converted the ensuing free throw to put the Seahawks on top, 6-5.

The lead ballooned to 21-9 after the Seahawks reeled off 13 unanswered points over a 4:24 span midway through the period. Blackwell scored the last six points in the spurt and the senior guard's layup behind the UD zone with 12:19 left increased the difference to 12 points.

Andrews pushed the cushion to 26-12 with a favorable roll on a trey at 10:33 and reserve guard Treasure Johnson's twisting bucket in the paint gave UNCW its largest lead of the half, 33-16, with 5:43 remaining.

White, who wound up with three blocks, collected the 100th block of her career early in the first half when she swatted away an attempt by Sarah Acker.

The Seahawks travel to Northeastern on Sunday for their next game in a 1 p.m. start at Solomon Court in Boston. The Blue Hens move down to Atlanta to take on Georgia State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

GAME NOTES

* UNCW moved to 7-12 all-time against Delaware as the Seahawks won for the fourth time in the last five games against the Blue Hens. The win was also the third in eight tries against Delaware at Trask Coliseum.
* The Seahawks improved to 2-0 this season against teams ranked in the Collegeinsider.com Women's Mid-Major Top 25 poll as the Blue Hens entered the game ranked 19th in the weekly listing.
* UNCW shot above 50 percent from the floor for the sixth time this season and the fourth time in conference play. The 52.1 percent success rate from the floor also marked the 11th time this season and the fifth time in league play that the Seahawks have shot better than 40 percent in a game.
* The Seahawks improved to 10-1 overall and 4-1 in league play this season when shooting better than 40 percent from the floor.
* UNCW recorded double figure steals for the 13th time this season as it tallied 10 thefts in the game despite the Blue Hens being charged with just 15 turnovers.
* The Seahawks out-rebounded its opponent for the second straight contest and the ninth time his season as it held a 39-26 advantage on the glass. UNCW posted a double-figure rebounding advantage for the fourth time this season as it turned in its largest rebounding advantage over an opponent this season.
* UNCW improved to 4-0 this season,2-0 in league play and 47-0 since the start of the 2002-03 campaign when holding an opponent to 50 points or less in a contest. The Seahawks accomplished the feat for the second time in four games.
* The Seahawks moved to 10-0 overall and 5-0 in league play this season when leading at the half.
* UNCW improved to 11-1 overall and 4-1 in league play this season when it holds a lead of 10 points or greater in a contest.
* UNCW shot 75.0 percent or better at the free-throw line for the seventh time this season as it was 12-of-16 at the charity stripe.
* UNCW enjoyed a 36-24 advantage in points in the paint as it posted an 18-12 edge in that category in both halves.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

4 - Alisha Andrews

* Led team in assists for the 10th time this season and the seventh time in the last eight games. Team improved to 8-2 this season when she leads them in assists.

24 - Jessica Freeman

* Matched her career-high in rebounds with four, matching mark set on two previous occasions.

42 - Martha White

* Became the fifth player in program history with 100 blocked shots with her rejection of a Sarah Acker field goal attempt at the 15:38 mark of the first half.
* Scored in double figures for the 12th time this season and the 35th time of her career. Reached double figures for the sixth straight contest, stretching her personal record to six straight double-figure scoring performances.

45 - Brittany Blackwell

* Reached double figures in points for the 14th time this season and the 88th time in her career. Led team in scoring for the eighth time this season and the 51st time in her career as the team improved to 27-24 when she paces them in points.
* Grabbed double figure rebounds for the fifth time this season and the 31st time in her career. Led team in rebounding for the 10th time this season and the 68th time in her career as the team improved to 41-27 when she paces them in rebounds.
* Recorded her fifth double-double of the season and the 30th of her career. Team improved to 4-1 this season and 23-7 all-time when she records a double-double.
* Moved into third place on the program's all-time scoring list with her basket at the 12:47 mark of the second half. Surpassed Tressa Reese, who scored 1,501 points in a UNCW uniform during her four-year career (1987-1990).

article courtesy UNCW Sports Information

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