Story by Alexis Spring
In the penultimate game of the regular season, the Northeastern Huskies (14-13) ventured to Wilmington to face the UNCW Seahawks (3-24) in a Thursday night conference battle.
All was not easy, as the Seahawks came to play, especially guard Sierra DaCosta and forward Micah Hoggatt.
Coming off of an explosive play from Gemima Motema to open the scoring, Hoggatt was fouled and hit both free throws. Emily Calabrese then scored an easy basket from the inside. After a couple Husky fouls, UNCW took the lead. But just as quickly as they were up, Claudia Soriano hit a three, evening the score.
Calabrese then showed off with an up and under move, and Northeastern gained control again, making it 10-8. It was a quick first quarter, with a lot of travel violations from the Seahawks and a lot of good inbound plays from the Huskies. Northeastern ended the first quarter leading 19-15.
Northeastern’s Soriano and Motema were critical players for the Huskies. This comes as no surprise as both players have been seen as powerhouses all season for the Huskies. Soriano, a freshman, was honored as CAA rookie of the week for the ___ time, and Motema scored 20 points in the game.
Motema quickly became the go-to offensive player, bringing in 12 points with five rebounds and seven assists.
The Seahawks made the most of Northeastern’s fouls, with Hoggatt scoring nine points in the first quarter alone. However, shot clock violations against UNCW proved to be the kryptonite as turnovers often ruled in Northeastern’s favor throughout the game.
Camille Clement entered the game in the second quarter after the Huskies fell behind briefly, making the game 24-22. With the Huskies back in the front and five minutes left in the quarter, the Seahawks put more pressure on defensively andalso offensively. Freshman guard Jayde Gamble and DaCosta from UNCW tried to even the scoreboard. Soriano and Clement prove to be the better duo — making the score 32-28 right before the half.
The Seahawks played pretty well in the fast-paced first half, trying to keep it a two-point game. Although Northeastern had a lot of missed opportunities, the Seahawks did not capitalize on them with Northeastern showing up for each rebound shot.
Right at the buzzer, Hoggatt scored a jumper. The Seahawks trailed by two at the start of the third. DaCosta was called out for too many fouls in the game, bringing May from Northeastern onto the line. May scores both fouls and brings the Huskies to 34-32. UNCW graduate student guard Allie Best knocked down a three-pointer to put the Seahawks back up by one. The Huskies defense held strong, with both teams struggling to put up points throughout the quarter. McCartney made it 41-36 at the end of the third.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Huskies were still dominating on rebounds but making mistakes with violations and fouls. A violation by Northeastern gets UNCW the ball, allowing sophomore guard Mary McMillan to net a three-pointer. Soriano then answers for the Huskies, bringing the score to 46-41. Best with the shot clock going down brings it in with a three-pointer, making the score 48-46. From then on, the Seahawks weren’t able to generate much offense, and the final score 63-48 was in favor of the Huskies.
Despite starting as a close game due to a couple of breakdowns on defense, Northeastern was able to capitalize on all of their opportunities. The Huskies will face College of Charleston in the regular-season finale next on Saturday at 2 p.m.