The Cape Fear Community College women’s basketball team used two decisive runs in the first half to jump out to an 18-point lead at the break and never looked back in an 86-63 win over rival Brunswick Community College on Thursday night.
On a night when players, coaches and fans wore traditional pink in honor of breast cancer awareness, freshman Kristin Rumplasch recorded a double-double with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds, while classmate Eboni Gilliam scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half as eight different Sea Devils found the scoring column.
“We have so many weapons we can go to and that showed tonight,” said CFCC second-year coach Lori Drake. “Kristina was able to get going early and they tried defended her better in the second half and we talked about that right after halftime and Eboni was able to refocus and find some rhythm.
“We’ve been practicing hard everyday and it’s showing right now. I’m pleased with our defensive effort, we’re taking care of the transition game and as a coach, I feel like we’re peaking are the right time. We’re working hard and I tell the kids to just stay after it.”
Both teams traded baskets to open the game until a block, steal and assist by Rumplasch led to easy fast break points for former New Hanover High School standout Shanta Williams.
A defensive rebound on the next possession for the Sea Devils sparked an 18-3 run for Cape Fear as Rumplasch complimented her play in the post with a step-back three-ball from the wing to make it 19-5 and Victoria Florence came off the bench to knock down a trifecta with 11:15 to go in the half.
Brunswick Community College responded with a quick 11-0 spurt to get back in the contest and used a steal and easy lay-in by Tyesha McLean to make it a five-point game, but Florence answered with her second three-ball to seize the momentum.
“We just had to get refocused,” said Drake. “It’s about dialing in at this point in the season and keeping everyone together. This game is about runs and Brunswick came back at us and we refocused a bit with the timeout and were able to make another nice little push before halftime.”
Following a Dolphins’ turnover after the trey by Florence, the Sea Devils used a 7-0 swing and three consecutive shots from behind the arc–two by Williams and one by Alex Washington–as Cape Fear extended their cushion to 47-29 at the break. Florence finished with 13 points to put three players in double figures.
The Sea Devils have now won five straight games and earned a split with Brunswick Community College after dropping a 79-74 contest right after the holiday break.
“The biggest difference between that first game against Brunswick and tonight was that we are all on the same page,” said Drake. “I’m real pleased with the way we’re working and I thought we played a little sluggish right after the holidays, but that’s in the past and we are now turning our focus to Patrick Henry this weekend.”
Cape Fear moved to 17-7 overall and evened their Region X mark to 7-7 as the Sea Devils play in their regular-season finale at home on Saturday against Patrick Henry CC. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
UNCW honors its seniors for contributions to the program
Wednesday night was more than just another game for the UNCW men’s basketball team as the program recognized six of its seniors before the start of the final Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) home game of the season.
The Seahawks faced off against CAA-leading Delaware on senior night in Trask Coliseum as the university’s athletic department acknowledged seniors Zack Allen, Chris Dixon, Ben Eblen, Marcus Graham, Tanner Milson and Shane Reybold.
The seniors were met by their families at half court and applauded for their hard work and dedication.
Each of the seniors saw playing time in the hard fought contest with the Blue Hens, ultimately losing, 70-57. Milson led the way with 11 points and Reybold added six of his own. The other seniors–Eblen, Graham, Allen, and Dixon–combined for nine points, as well.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t send the seniors out on a positive note,” said Peterson. “I’m going to miss them a lot. All the seniors have been fun to work with. They are going to all graduate and five out of the six carry over a 3.0 GPA.”
Allen, Dixon, Graham and Eblen joined the Seahawks as transfers midway through their careers. Milson and Reybold have competed as Seahawks for their whole collegiate career.
“Hopefully we helped build for the future, changed the mentality from how it was, and set an example of good leadership on the team,” Milson said.
“We appreciate the support we have gotten here. We’ve stuck with it and [the fans] stuck behind us, and you have to appreciate it. That’s the thing you’re going to remember,” said Reybold.