Wilmington, N.C. – Senior forward Anma Onyeuku notched 12 points and 11 rebounds and fellow senior Annie Payton scored 12 of her 14 total points in the first half to help Hofstra post a 64-55 victory over UNC Wilmington in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup on Sunday afternoon at Trask Coliseum.
Sophomore forward Ruth Sherrill scored eight points and freshman Kelly Loftus scored six of her eight points in the second half to help Hofstra improve to 6-8 and 1-2 in CAA play. Brie Mobley scored 24 points on 12-of-15 shooting but UNCW still lost its 13th consecutive game in falling to 1-15 and 0-2 in CAA play.
Freshman Krystal Luciano scored nine points and complied five assists in the point guard role. Onyeuku recorded her second double-double of the season and the fourth of her career and also contributed four assists and two steals. Onyeuku has scored in double figures in five straight games and registered her first double-double since a 13-point, 12-rebound effort at Central Connecticut on Dec. 30.
Sophomore Asia Jackson hit a three-pointer in front of Hofstra’s bench and Onyeuku converted a three-point play for a 6-0 run to start the second half. UNCW got within two on Johanna McMillian’s three-pointer to cut it 41-39, but the Seahawks would not tie it the rest of the way as Sherrill responded by drawing a foul in the post and hitting two free throws. Loftus drilled a left-wing three pointer for a seven-point Hofstra lead.
UNCW then came within 48-47 before Luciano drove and created space for Loftus’ second three-pointer of the half on the right wing to swing momentum back to Hofstra. The teams then exchanged close-range baskets with Luciano making a driving layup.
Ryan Flowers hit one of two free throws to cut Hofstra’s lead to 56-50. The Pride turned the ball over the next trip down but generated a turnover of its own on UNCW’s possession. Jackson then scored an insurance layup for a 58-50 Hofstra lead with 2:34 left that would seal the victory.
Payton scored in double figures for the third straight game and the eighth time in 2013-14. It was the 22nd time she notched at least 10 points in her career. Her last three double figure efforts have come as a reserve and against a CAA opponent.
The Pride started its three freshmen – Elo Edeferioka, Luciano and Loftus – for the fourth straight game.
Hofstra established a 29-27 halftime lead led by Payton’s 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Payton, sophomore Jakelle King-Gilchrist an Luciano accounted for four of Hofstra’s three-pointers in the half while the Pride held the Seahawks to 0-for-4 from beyond the arc to take a lead at intermission for the eighth time this season.
UNCW raced to the early 7-2 lead before Luciano and Payton it consecutive three-pointers. That sparked an eventual 13-0 run bolstered by Payton’s five consecutive points that helped the Pride build a 15-7 lead. Hofstra held the Seahawks scoreless during a four-plus minute stretch.
Mobley shot 6-of-7 in the period as her 12 points in 15 minutes helped UNCW keep the deficit to a single possession at intermission.
Hofstra will resume conference play with two home games in a three-day stretch starting on Friday with a noon start against the College of Charleston at the Mack Sports Complex. For ticket information please call (516) HOF-TIXX or visit GoHofstra.com/tix.