Huskies get first CAA win

By Jason Kornwitz

After losing six straight, the Huskies again found the win column in trumping Georgia State on the road last Friday. Less than 48 hours later, old habits set in as NU dropped another road contest, this time to UNC Wilmington.

The Huskies (5-11, 1-6) hung with Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference opponent UNC Wilmington (11-5, 5-2) for the first twenty minutes. But with the score deadlocked at 28, the Seahawks busted it open with an 18-5 run to start the second frame. NU missed its first 15 shots and hit on just six of 25 attempts in the second half,going on to lose 65-51.

NU freshman guard Ashlee Feldman led the team with 17 points while senior forward Erica Sheppard snagged eight rebounds, but the Seahawks’ Alex Stewart totaled 14 points and 13 boards to front an attack that had nine different players on the court for at least 13 minutes.

Coach Willette White recognizes the challenge her squad faces in a conference stacked with talent.

“This league is no joke,” she said. “You’ve got really solid teams. You’ve got teams with good inside and good outside games. You’ve got a little bit of everything across the board.”

In the first half, senior forward Quiana Copeland put her team up 16-11 on a layup, but the Seahawks answered with a 9-0 run to take a 26-21 lead. Not to be outdone, NU pulled off a 7-0 run of their own, capped by a free throw by sophomore guard Mary-Eileen Gallagher to put the Huskies up 28-26 with a minute to go.

Outrebounded 49-29 in the game, both White and Sheppard felt it was the difference-maker in the second half.

“We really have to consciously decide that we’re going to outrebound the other team,” Sheppard said.

She echoed the sentiments of White, who said “it’s a matter of having more desire to rebound the ball.”

Stewart began the second with back-to-back jumpers to open up a four point, 32-28 lead which was never relinquished and stretched the Husky deficit to as much as 19 at 62-43 before NU finished on an 8-3 run.

Despite the loss, Feldman comes off another solid effort and continues to gain recognition from her teammates.

“[Feldman’s] a great scoring threat off the bench,” Sheppard said. “She’s really hard to beat once she gets hot. Her shooting is so accurate and it helps for us to have that bench scoring there.”

NU earned its first CAA win and only its second road victory of the year against Georgia State (6-8, 1-4), 64-61, in a game in which senior guard Maralene Zwarich scored a season-high 27 points.

The victory, White said, was important for a few reasons.

“It was huge not only to break the losing streak but it was our first CAA win,” she said. “We feel like we got the monkey off our back. Our kids just got after it for 40 minutes.”

Feldman led the club with seven rebounds while captain Jody Burrows racked up a season-high eight assists, but the Lady Panthers opened the contest on a 9-1 run and widened the lead to 11 at 24-13 with 4:34 left in the half.

With 20 minutes to go, the Huskies faced a 32-24 deficit, but took their first lead of the night at 59-58 with 3:15 left when Zwarich drained a bucket as the shot clock ticked down. NU built up a four-point cushion and held on for a three-point victory.

While pleased with the victory, White said there’s still plenty to work on.

“There’s room for consistency from everybody on the offensive and the defensive end,” she said.

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