Trice Powers UNCW Past Hofstra, 94-87
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (March 9, 2012) - Sophomore guard Abria Trice scored a career-high 33 points to lead fifth-seeded UNCW to a 94-87 victory over No. 4 Hofstra in the quarterfinals of the Virginia 529 CAA Women's Basketball Championship Friday afternoon at The Show Place Arena.
The win sends the Seahawks (20-11) into Saturday's Noon semifinal game against top-seeded Delaware. UNCW and the Blue Hens also met in the semifinals a year ago, with UD coming out on top, 62-47. Hofstra dropped to 19-11 with the loss.
The 94 points were a season-high for the Seahawks and the most for the team in over a decade. It was also the most points scored in a CAA Tournament game since 2006.
Trice, whose previous career scoring high was 20 points, finished 13-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from three-point range, and hit all four of her free throw attempts. Junior Jessica Freeman contributed 17 points off the bench and tied a CAA Tournament record with eight steals. The Seahawks also got 13 points from guard Alisha Andrews and 11 points and eight rebounds from Ayoola Weaver.
Four of Hofstra's five starters scored double figures, led by All-CAA forward Shante Evans with 21 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Guard Nicole Capurso drained 4-of-8 three-pointers and finished with 18 points, while Candace Bond scored 17 points for the Pride.
UNCW led by nine at the half, but Hofstra steadily chipped away at the Seahawks' advantage. Bond converted a three-point play to trim the Pride deficit to one with 10:02 to go and Hofstra tied the game at 66-66 with 9:49 remaining when Candice Bellocchio converted a free throw following a technical foul on the UNCW bench.
The Seahawks responded, however, behind the shooting of Trice. She scored four straight points to put UNCW on top 72-67 with 7:24 remaining and then drained a three-pointer to make it 80-75 with 4:47 left to play.
A three-pointer by Capurso brought Hofstra within 80-78 at the four-minute mark, but the Seahawks wouldn't let them get any closer and sealed the win by making 8-of-11 from the free throw line over the final 3:07.
Both teams shot better than 56 percent from the floor and put on an offensive show in an entertaining first half that featured six ties and three lead changes. UNCW was ahead 42-38 with just over two minutes to go in the period when Trice drained a 3-pointer and Weaver followed with a short jumper to make it 47-38 with 1:39 left.
Another Trice jumper expanded the margin to 11 and UNCW took a 51-42 advantage into halftime. The 51 points in the opening half were a season-best for the Seahawks and Trice matched her career high with 20 points in the first 20 minutes.
UNCW shot 47.9% from the floor for the game and was 8-of-16 from beyond the arc. The Seahawks also outrebounded the Pride 44-31 and made 15 steals. Hofstra shot an impressive 50% from the floor and hit six treys, but was hurt by 20 turnovers that led to 24 Seahawks' points.