“I thought we started the game out pretty strong,” said Coach Joe Mathews. “We have some kids playing different positions right now and we struggled to maintain momentum in the second half.”
The Tigers opened the game on a 10-4 run as junior forward Michelle Peebles had a pair of early buckets. The two squads would trade baskets in a back and forth battle over the next several minutes. A jumper from freshman guard Destiny Shearin tied the game at 16-16 with 10:54 to play in the first half. The bucket was the first of five straight points from Shearin and started an 11-2 run by the home team. Fooks had three straight baskets for the Tigers during the run which allowed them to extend their lead to 25-18 with 7:39 to go in the half. The Seahawks (13-7, 6-3 CAA) responded with a 9-0 run of their own to take a 27-25 advantage with 3:47 to go. After the Tigers tied the game at 27-27, UNCW closed the first half on a 9-2 run to take a 36-29 advantage at the break.
The Seahawks shot 46.4% from the field to the Tigers’ 43.8% in the first 20 minutes of play. UNCW was aided by going 6-for-8 from the foul line in the first half while the Tigers hit their only attempt from the line. The Seahawks held a 19-14 edge in the rebounding battle.
UNCW opened the second half on a 9-4 run to take a 45-34 lead with 15:52 to play in the game. Shearin hit a lay-up at 15:23 to pull the Tigers to within nine, 45-36. The Seahawks would outscore the Tigers, 19-10 over the next eight minutes to take a 66-46 lead, their largest of the game. Towson scored 11 of the game’s next 15 points to pull to within 13, 70-57 with 2:16 to play. UNCW scored six of the final 10 points in the game for the 76-61 victory.
The Seahawks shot 55.6% from the floor in the second half and finished the game shooting 50.9%. Towson shot 37% in the second half and finished the game shooting 40.7%. The Seahawks out rebounded the Tigers 34-31 in the game.
Fooks had five rebounds and two steals in addition to her 14 points for the Tigers. Fields contributed three assists in the game while sophomore guard Tanisha McTiller had 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Senior guard Krystal Parnell finished with eight points, six rebounds and six assists.
UNC Wilmington had four players score in double figures led by Abria Trice’s 20 points. Karneshia Garrett had 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench while Alisha Andrews finished with 11 points, four rebounds and six assists.
Towson is back in action on Thursday, Feb. 2 when it hosts VCU at 7 p.m.