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Junior Kelva Atkins sank a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to erase a one-point deficit and lift UNCW to a 60-59 victory over Towson in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) women’s basketball game on Sunday. Gwen Austin became the first Lady Seahawk to have her jersey retired in the rafters at Trask Coliseum as part of UNCW’s homecoming week and senior day festivities.
Austin joins former men’s basketball greats Brett Blizzard (11), Brian Rowsom (35) and Bill Mayhew (35), former Director of Athletics and Baseball Head Coach Bill Brooks (47) and former pitcher Carl Willis (42) as the only individuals in school history to reach the pinnacle.
“We’re very pleased to honor Gwen for her outstanding career at UNCW,” said Jimmy Bass, UNCW’s athletic director. “Gwen had a spectacular career with the Seahawks and her records have stood the test of time. Honoring her in this fashion is long overdue.”.
Atkins led the Seahawks for the 18th time this season with a game-high 23 points as she was 8-of-14 from the floor and a perfect 7-of-7 at the free-throw line. Freshman Brie Mobley joined Atkins in double figures with 11, while fellow classmate Naqaiyyah Teague added nine markers. Freshman forward Ryan Flowers pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds to highlight a 35-26 advantage on the glass for UNCW.
Trailing 59-55, freshman Amber Reeves swished in a three-pointer in front of the Seahawk bench with 7.9 seconds on the clock to narrow the UNCW deficit to 59-58.
The Seahawks fouled Towson’s Ciara Webb on the Tigers next possession, sending the junior to the free-throw line for a one-and-one opportunity. Webb would miss her first free throw, but the rebound would eventually go out of bounds off a UNCW player with only two seconds remaining.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Atkins was able to intercept the Tigers’ pass and draw a foul at midcourt with 1.4 seconds showing on the clock.
The Seahawks improved to 4-24 overall and 3-11 in CAA play as they halted an eight-game losing skid. UNCW returns to the floor on Thursday with a 7 p.m. tip-off at Drexel.
Sea Devils with bounce back win
The Cape Fear Community College men’s basketball team cruised to an 84-64 win over Tidewater Community College at the Schwartz Center in downtown Wilmington on Sunday afternoon.
“We must continue to strive for excellence every day,” said CFCC Coach Ryan Mantlo. “Our defensive intensity has to get better to win a championship.”
Osandai Vaughn scored 20 points and Demetres Abrams chipped in with 16 as the Sea Devils bounced back from Friday’s setback at USC-Salkehatchie.
“When you play on the road against a solid team you must play for 40 minutes, said Mantlo. “We played great for 30, but the lapse of 10 minutes cost us the other night.”
CFCC entertains Brunswick Community College in the regular season home-finale on Friday, Feb. 28. The Sea Devils are 15-13 overall and 5-4 in conference as they look to avenge an early season 17-point loss to the Dolphins on Jan. 11.