By Ethan Marsh, Reporter
WILMINGTON, NC - The UNCW women’s basketball team’s last home game this season, and Shatia Cole’s last home game of her UNCW Seahawk career, did not go as good as it was hoped as the Delaware Blue Hens spoiled these plans by convincingly beating the Seahawks 56-44 Sunday afternoon in Trask Coliseum. Senior Guard, Shatia Cole, was still warmly given a farewell Sunday along with graduate assistant coach Steven Rhodes. This was a part of Senior Day and both were recognized before the game’s commencement. Shatia Cole performed as she had all season and this performance created the nostalgia of her career at UNCW. Cole entered the 1,000 points in career category this season. Cole was wished the best of luck in her future endeavors.
This was the 31st time the Blue Hens and the Seahawks had faced off in a game and Delaware’s win improved their overall commanding lead in the series to 23-8. Even though this game resulted in a loss for the Seahawks, Shatia Cole’s career at UNCW has still been a bright one and one to be an example for the ones to come next.
Senior Guard Shatia Cole, who was appearing in her last home game at Trask Coliseum scored 8 of the first 14 points and led scorers in the matchup at 18 points, the next highest points were in the amount of 8 by Junior Point Guard Jasmine Steele. This marked Cole’s 14th game out of the last 16 in double figure scoring. Cole also is the leading scorer this season by averaging 12.9 points per game through the ending of this matchup.
This matchup between Delaware and UNC-Wilmington shifted multiple times. It started off being tied at 12-12 towards the ending of the 1st quarter. Delaware took hold of the lead 14-12 and never looked back. The Blue Hens went into halftime with a small 28-21 lead but the gap was created in the 3rd quarter as the Seahawks were outscored by Delaware 23-12 in the 3rd quarter. The matchup also featured multiple runs by both team later in the 3rd and 4th as Delaware conducted a 8-0 run to make it 42-28 in the 3rd then UNCW led a 5-0 run to make it 42-33 then Delaware made a 10-0 run to make it 54-33 before the Seahawks final last attempt at a comeback with the 11-0 run
The UNCW women’s basketball team was not completely out at the end of the 3rd quarter as they led a 11-0 run in the 4th quarter after the Blue Hens held their highest lead at 54-33 at the beginning of the 4th. A missed 3-pointer by Jasmine Steele with 2:25 left on the clock killed the momentum the Seahawks had built after narrowing the gap to 54-44. The Blue Hens scored with 1:55 left to make it 56-44 and that was the final score of the matchup as Delaware essentially ran the clock out from that point.
The sources of the Seahawks struggles in this game particular were in rebounds, free throws, 3-pointers, holding onto the ball for too long, and simply not making the needed shots at the time needed. The Blue Hens led the Seahawks in rebounds 43 to 25 and led UNCW in Free Throw Percentage at 86 percent to the Seahawks dismal 17 percent by only making 1 free throw out of 6 in the matchup. The Seahawks also only made 3 of their 3 pointers out of 11 attempts. The failed 3-pointer by Steele late in the 4th killed any chances of the comeback producing an unlikely comeback win. Despite Cole’s great performance of 18 points, she did miss some shots that could have possibly changed this game's outcome.
This loss added to the lackluster season the women’s basketball team at UNCW has produced as it dropped the overall record to 7-21, a low 3-14 conference record, and a calamitous 4-11 home record. This loss also increased the Seahawks season high 6-game losing streak, as the last win occurred February 7th versus William & Mary. This game concluded the regular season home schedule and the women’s basketball team at UNCW will travel to the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:30pm for their regular season finale. The CAA conference tournament for Women’s Basketball will take place in Upper Marlboro, Maryland March 9th-12th.