WILMINGTON — UNCW knocked down six shots from long range in the opening quarter and held off a late surge by Norfolk State on Friday afternoon as the Seahawks grabbed a 64-58 victory at Trask Coliseum.
Redshirt junior forward Jenny DeGraaf and junior guard Madison Raque combined to score 29 points, while junior center Rebekah Banks contributed nine points and 10 rebounds.
DeGraaf, who was made her UNCW debut after transferring from Penn State, set career highs by scoring 15 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Raque matched her career high by scoring 14 points. Senior forward Jordan Henry chipped in seven points with seven rebounds.
The Seahawks made 8-of-14 shots from the floor in the opening period to take a commanding 28-12 lead and never trailed from that point. DeGraaf led the charge by scoring 8 of her 15 points during the opening stanza.
UNCW improved to 24-20 all-time in season openers and has won its last three season debuts. DeGraaf made her first appearance since March 4, 2015, when she started for Penn State against Indiana in the Big Ten Conference Tournament, a span of 20 months and seven days. She was forced to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Of the 12 players who saw action for UNCW, 10 scored at least one point. DeGraaf recorded the second double-double of her college career. The Seahawks’ newcomers accounted for 30 of the team’s 64 points. UNCW’s 28 points in the first quarter are the most in any period since the start of last season. The Seahawks scored 22 points off 17 Norfolk State turnovers.
UNCW begins its first road swing of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 16, with an 11:30 a.m. contest at East Carolina.