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UNCW women's basketball team holds onto lead versus Hofstra to improve to 4-1 in CAA

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HEMPSTEAD,NY (WWAY) -- UNC Wilmington scored eight of the final nine points of the game to erase a three-point deficit and defeat Hofstra, 70-66, in Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball action Sunday at the Mack Sports Complex.

The Seahawks won their third straight and fifth in their last six contests as they improved to 12-4 overall and 4-1 in CAA action. The Pride suffered their first home defeat in six games as they moved to 10-6 and 2-3.

Junior forward Kristen Hanzer poured in 24 points and senior post Martha White added 16 markers to guide the UNCW attack while senior Treasure Johnson provided a spark off the bench as she scored 11 first-half points. Hanzer and White also grabbed 10 rebounds apiece to give both players a double-double while senior Brittany Blackwell added nine caroms as the Seahawks finished with a 49-39 advantage on the glass.

Sophomore Shante Evans scored a team-high 15 points and added a game-best 17 caroms for Hofstra, who shot just 34.4 percent (21-of-61) from the field for the game. Evans was one of four Pride players in double figures as freshman Anne Payton added 13, junior Nicole Capurso chipped in 11 and junior Candice Bellocchio notched 10 points to go along with a game-best five assists.

Trailing 65-62 with 2:34 remaining, a free-throw by Hanzer started the decisive spurt that saw the Seahawks convert on six of their last seven possessions while the Pride missed all five of their field goal attempts and were changed with two turnovers in the same time frame.

UNCW used a free-throw by Blackwell and a layup by Hanzer to take the lead, 66-65, when Evans was fouled on a loose ball situation and made one of two attempts to knot the score at 66-all with 1:16 remaining.

The Seahawks regained the lead on their next possession as an offensive rebound and put-back by White on a missed jumper by freshman Alisha Andrews gave the Seahawks a 68-66 edge with 55 ticks on the clock.

Hofstra had multiple chances to tie or take the lead on their next possession as the Pride got off three shot attempts, including back-to-back three-point attempts by Capurso, before the Seahawks were finally able to gain possession on a deadball rebound.

White was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and went to the line, making one of two tries at the stripe to extend the lead to three, 69-66.

Hofstra once again had a chance to tie the game, but an off-balanced three-point attempt by Evans was short, allowing Hanzer to grab the rebound and draw the foul with four seconds remaining. Hanzer made one of two free throws to determine the four-point margin of victory.

UNCW used a 13-4 run early to take the lead and held a 41-33 edge less than a minute into the second half when back-to-back jumpers by Candace Bond ignited a 17-0 Hofsta run that gave the Pride a 50-41 advantage.

UNCW responded to the Hofstra spurt with 15 unanswered points to regain the lead, 56-50. The Pride followed the Seahawks spurt with a 15-6 stretch of its own to build a 65-62 cushion and set up the Seahawks final run.

Both teams return to action Thursday with CAA contests. UNCW hosts Delaware while Hofstra travels to Towson. Game time for both contests is set for 7 p.m.

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