WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Redshirt junior guard GiGi Smith scored a career-high 27 points and sophomore forward Paige Powell posted her first career double-double as UNCW opened its 2018-19 regular season with a 74-58 victory over Belmont Abbey at Trask Coliseum on Tuesday evening.
The victory allowed the Seahawks to begin the season for the fifth consecutive year while the contest served as an exhibition for the NCAA Division II Crusaders.
Smith led four Seahawks in double figures by making 13-of-25 shots from the floor and scored 16 of her 27 points in the second half. She also contributed four rebounds and three steals.
Powell, meanwhile, matched her career high by chipping in 10 points while grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end.
Junior guard Lacey Suggs tallied 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting while redshirt senior guard Shrita Parker notched 10 points with five assists.
Belmont Abbey was led by sophomore guard Irelynn Davidson’s 17 points in addition to 15 points from sophomore forward Allie Downing and senior forward 12 points from Manuela Fungate.
Key Moment: Trailing by a 28-27 margin with 1:49 remaining in the first half, the Seahawks went on a 17-4 run over the next 4:33 to take a 44-32 lead they did not relinquish. The Crusaders trimmed the margin to six points later in the third quarter before the Seahawks pulled away.
Up Next: The Seahawks play their first road game of the 2018-19 season on Sunday, Nov. 11, when they visit Ohio for a 1 p.m. non-conference contest against the Bobcats.