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Tough D Leads Hofstra Women Past UNC-Wilmington

Senior Annie Payton (Camden, NJ) scored 18 points and a swarming defense shut down the UNC-Wilmington attack as the Hofstra women’s basketball team cruised to a 55-43 win Friday at the Mack Sports Complex.

Annie Payton celebrating with her teammates. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Annie Payton celebrating with her teammates. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Payton was very accurate, shooting seven-of-nine from the field including a pair of three-pointers. Jackelle King-Gilchrist (Teaneck, NJ) added 11 points and six rebounds.

The most impressive aspect of the Pride’s performance was their defense. They held the Seahawks to just 32.5 percent shooting from the floor, caused 26 turnovers and had 15 steals as a team. In fact, nine of the 10 players who played in the game had at least one steal in this game.

“We just really went back to playing really physical, trying to put the pressure on them and cause them to turn it over,” Payton said.

Hofstra led for almost the entire game, taking the lead for good with 11:50 left in the first half. The Pride went on an 11-2 run to take an 18-11 lead and never really looked back.

Some fouls in the final minute of the first half helped UNC-Wilmington get back into the game and they closed the gap to 28-22 at the break.

The Seahawks never pulled closer than four points, however, and then Hofstra went on a 16-4 run to take a 44-28 lead. The Pride was never seriously threatened after that.

Hofstra showed its depth in this game, getting 34 points from non-starters while allowing the Seahawks only three.

“It’s nice to have someone give us a lift off the bench,” coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said. “Annie Payton provides that and now Jakelle (King-Gilchrist) provides that and it’s great to have more options. There’s a lot of confidence and a lot of trust that these guys can get the job done.”

The win improved the Pride’s record to 8-10 on the season and 3-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Their next game will be Sunday afternoon when they visit Drexel. Hofstra will next be home on Sunday, February 9 for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off.

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