UNCW women beat Charleston, to face JMU on Thursday at CAA Tournament


HARRISONBURG, VA (COURTESY UNCWSPORTS.COM) — Led by redshirt senior guard Jasmine Steele, UNCW held off College of Charleston to earn a 49-44 victory in the opening round of the 2017 Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Championship at the JMU Convocation Center on Wednesday afternoon.

The seventh-seeded Seahawks, who earned their second win in the last three games, improved to 11-19 on the season. College of Charleston, the No. 10 seed in the tournament, has its season end with a 9-21 record.

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Steele, who posted her ninth double-digit scoring effort in the last 12 games, made 8-of-10 shots from the floor while contributing two rebounds and two steals.

Junior guard Diamond Willis added nine points off the bench while junior center Rebekah Banks chipped in six points with a team-high 11 rebounds.

Senior guard Breanna Bolden, the CAA’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year, paced the Cougars in the loss by scoring 13 points with a game-high 14 rebounds. Redshirt junior forward Tanisha Brown also posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Key Moment: UNCW closed out the first half by scoring the final seven points, including six points from Willis, to take a 31-24 lead at the intermission. Charleston, which trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half, trimmed the deficit to four points on two occasions in the fourth quarter, but was unable to get any closer.

Game Notes: UNCW won two of three meetings against Charleston to even the all-time series at 11-11 … The Seahawks earned their first win in the CAA Tournament since 2014 when they edged William & Mary by a 67-65 margin in the first round … UNCW earned its first win in the CAA Tournament as the No. 7 seed … Steele is now averaging 12.0 points per game in three career appearances in the CAA Tournament … The Seahawks were facing the No. 10 seed in the tournament for the first time … UNCW played in its 50th CAA Tournament game in the program’s history and improved to 18-32 … Steele led the Seahawks in scoring for the 12th time this season … She also registered her 31st career double-digit scoring effort … Banks earned her 13th double-digit rebounding game of the season and led the Seahawks in rebounding for the 14th time this year … Charleston outrebounded UNCW by a 43-39 margin, including a 14-8 edge on the offensive glass … UNCW converted Charleston’s 20 turnovers into 13 points … There were four ties and seven lead changes.

Up Next for the Seahawks: UNCW advances to the quarterfinals and will face second-seeded James Madison on Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m.