WILMINGTON, North Carolina – With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, Coach Karen Barefoot and the UNCW women’s basketball team have their sights set on solidifying their spot in the upper part of the Colonial Athletic Association standings.
But, the task will not be easy as UNCW embarks on a three-game road swing to complete the regular season gauntlet with a Friday night visit to Northeastern. The Seahawks and the Huskies square off for the second time this season inside Cabot Center at 7 p.m.
UNCW, 16-10 overall and 9-6 in the CAA, currently hold a half-game lead over Delaware for the fourth spot in the league’s standings after defeating the Blue Hens, 72-64, on Sunday afternoon in the Seahawks’ home finale at Trask Coliseum. Senior center Chinyere Bell paced three UNCW players in double figures with a career-high 20 points while contributing eight rebounds.
Redshirt senior guard Shrita Parker continues to lead the Seahawks with a 15.7 scoring average while redshirt junior guard GiGi Smith is adding 15.3 points per outing, including a 19-point outing against Delaware.
Northeastern enters Friday’s tilt in a tie with William & Mary for sixth place in the CAA standings with a 15-10 overall mark and a 5-9 mark in league play. However, the Huskies have dropped five of their last six games after falling to Hofstra by a 63-62 count at Cabot Center on Sunday afternoon.
Senior guard Jess Genco leads Northeastern and ranks fifth in the CAA by scoring 16.4 points per game. The Scranton, Pa., product has a league-high five 30-point games this season and tops the circuit with a .913 free throw percentage.
Friday’s Starting Five
Beantown Blues – The Seahawks will be aiming to win their first game at Northeastern since Mar. 9, 2013, a 68-64 victory over the Huskies. Northeastern is 7-4 all-time at home against UNCW.
Summit Meeting – Friday’s game will feature the top two shooting teams in the CAA. UNCW holds the lead in the 10-team league with a .415 field goal percentage while Northeastern follows with a .414 mark.
Ringing the Bell – UNCW senior Chinyere Bell has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games, raising her seasonal scoring average from 5.5 points per game to 7.8 points per outing.
That 70s Show – The Seahawks are an impressive 12-1 this season when scoring 70 or more points after notching 72 points against Delaware on Sunday.
Forcing the Issue – UNCW has forced opponents to commit 20 or more turnovers seven times this year after Delaware had 23 turnovers in Sunday’s home finale.
Up Next: UNCW completes its two-game Northeast road trip on Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. contest at Hofstra. The Seahawks handed the Pride an 89-54 setback in the first meeting on Feb. 1 in Wilmington.