WILMINGTON, N.C. – UNC Wilmington converted four of six free throws in the final 2:08 of the game as the Seahawks edged the Tigers, 53-51, on Thursday night in Colonial Athletic Association play. The Tigers (16-11, 7-9 CAA) fell in their second straight close game despite 15 points from senior guard Krystin Fields.
With 2:59 remaining, Tanisha McTiller scored on a rebound layup to tie the game at 49-49. It was the 11th tie of the game.
With 2:08 left, Tawanna Lee made two free throws to give the Seahawks a 51-49 advantage. After a Fields free throw made it 51-50, the Tigers missed several opportunities to tie the game. With 42 seconds left, the Tiger defense forced a shot clock violation and took over with another chance to take the lead.
However, Fields missed a jumper and Karneshia Garrett was fouled with 20 seconds remaining. She made one of two free throws and the Tigers trailed by 52-50. After Krystal Parnell missed a shot, Deree Fooks was fouled on the rebound. With six seconds left, she made the first free throw and missed the second. Garrett got the rebound and was fouled. She made the second of the two free throws, clinching the 53-51 win.
The first half was a tightly contested as neither team held a lead of more than four points. Tied at 9-9, freshman guard Ciara Webb hit a jumper to put the visitors up 11-9. The Seahawks (17-10, 10-6 CAA) scored 11 of the next 16 points to take a 20-16 lead with 4:30 to play in the half. Ayoola Weaver had six of the Seahawks’ 11 points during that stretch. Towson responded with a 7-2 run of its own to take a 23-22 advantage with 4:23 to play in the half. Abria Trice hit a jumper with 1:13 to play in the half, which put the home team up by 24-23 at halftime.
Towson shot 41.7% from the field in the first half and got 10 first half points from Fields. UNCW shot 40.7% from the floor in the first half and got 10 first half points from Karneisha Garrett.
The Seahawks scored eight of the first 11 points in the second half and held a 32-26 lead with 17:07 to play. The Tigers responded with a 15-6 run as freshman guard Destiny Shearin’s basket with 10:16 to play gave the visitors a 43-38 lead. That was Towson’s largest advantage of the contest.
UNC Wilmington used a 7-2 run to tie the game at 45-45 with 6:58 to play, it was the ninth tie of the game. The two squads traded baskets over the next several minutes and found themselves tied at 49-49 with 2:59 to play. The Seahawks went 4-for-6 from the foul line in the final 2:08 to secure the 53-51 victory.
Towson shot 39.3% from the floor in the second half and finished the game shooting 40.4%. UNC Wilmington shot 39.1% from the field in the second half and 40% for the game. Towson held a 36-30 advantage in the rebounding battle.
In addition to Fields’ 15 points, the Tigers got 10 points and 10 rebounds from senior Deree Fooks. It was Fooks’ fourth “double-double” of the season. Sophomore guard Tanisha McTiller contributed 11 points and four rebounds.
The Seahawks were led by Garrett, who finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Trice contributed 11 points and three rebounds in the game.
The Tigers return home to host Drexel on Sunday, Feb. 26 in the Towson Center at 2 p.m. The Tigers will honor Fields, Fooks and their other three seniors who will be playing in their final home game.