Wilmington, N.C. - Sophomore guard Andreana Thomas tallied a career-high 23 points and senior forward Shante Evans had a double-double to help Hofstra close the game on a 6-0 run en route to a 75-69 victory over UNC Wilmington in a Colonial Athletic Association meeting on Tuesday night at Trask Coliseum.
Evans scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season and junior Anma Onyeuku scored 10 of her 13 total points in the second half for the Pride. Junior Annie Payton contributed 11 points off the bench, including a clutch-pointer with 1:40 left to lift Hofstra to 10-10 overall and 6-3 against the CAA.
UNCW had four players finish in double figures, led by senior guard Tawanna Lee's 20 points. But Hofstra erased an 11-point deficit to offset UNCW's Karneshia Garrett's double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds as the Seahawks fell to 2-18 and 1-8 in league play.
Hofstra posted a 41-25 rebounding edge, including 11 offensive boards that led to a 12-4 advantage In second-chance points to win for the second time in three games.
Thomas scored in double figures for the eighth time this season and broke her previous career high of 18 points that was set twice with last time coming at George Mason on Jan. 13. Thomas became the fourth Hofstra player with a 20-point game this season, joining Evans, Onyeuku and Asia Jackson.
Down 68-64, Onyeuku scored a jumper to get Hofstra within a single possession with 3:05 left. Following a defensive stop, Payton nailed a right-wing three-pointer from the opposite side of the Pride's bench for a 69-68 lead with 1:40 remaining.
Thomas hit two key free throws and Evans converted a baseline reserves layup to make it 73-69. Hofstra worked game clock down to 28.3 seconds with a two-point lead before Evans made her athletic play for an important cushion. Evans picked up her 63rd career double-double, which leads all active players. Evans has 1,963 career points.
Thomas then added a steal on UNCW's next trip down and hit two free throws with just less than 13 seconds left to secure the win. She finished with nine assists and was 11-for-12 from the free-throw line.
UNCW opened a four-point halftime lead and went up 42-34 on Freeman's right-wing three-pointer and Garrett's free throw. Evans gave Hofstra a jolt, hitting two free throws to spark a 6-0 run that featured Thomas' driving lay-in and Evans' close range in the paint to move Hofstra within 44-43.
Payton drilled a three-pointer to tie score and Evans made a layup to make it 50-48 lead at the 11:30 mark, representing Hofstra's first lead since 3:07 into the game.
Hofstra went down double digits in the first half before freshman Alexis Carter with a right-elbow jumper and senior Deven Green crashed the paint to get an offensive put-back, sending the Pride into the locker room down only 32-28 at the break.
UNCW forced 17 turnovers in the opening half, though Thomas helped Hofstra respond by scoring six points in the half. The Seahawks went on a 6-0 run while holding Hofstra scoreless for more than seven minutes to go up 15-9. UNCW led by as much as 11 on Chelsea McGowen's layup before Evans got her first points of the half on a three-point play on the next possession.
Hofstra will return home before a quick turnaround puts the Pride back on the court again on Thursday with a home matchup against Northeastern. Game time at the Mack Sports Complex for the CAA contest is set for 7 p.m.