Tuesday , Mar , 07 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Carter leads UNC-Wilmington to NCAA tournament

=== Carter leads UNC-Wilmington to NCAA tournament ===

Richmond, VA (Sports Network) – T.J. Carter scored six points in 52 seconds
during a crucial stretch late in the second half, as UNC-Wilmington punched
its ticket to the NCAA tournament with a 78-67 victory over Hofstra in the
Colonial Athletic Association title game at Richmond Coliseum.

Carter converted a three-point play and drained a three-pointer from the left
wing after the Pride had cut a 23-point deficit to three. The guard led the
Seahawks (25-7) with 23 points and 13 rebounds while Todd Henley tallied 15
points in the victory. Beckham Wyrick and Mitch Laue contributed 12 points
apiece in UNC-Wilmington’s eighth straight victory.

Loren Stokes spurred Hofstra (24-6) with 26 points and Carlos Rivera donated
16 points in the loss. Antoine Agudio added 13 points as the Pride saw their
six-game winning streak end. Hofstra beat second seed George Mason for the
second time in 10 days, 58-49, on Sunday to advance to its first conference
final. However, it will now have to wait until Selection Sunday to see
if the committee awards it an at-large bid into the tournament.

The Seahawks soared out of the locker room, climbing to a 53-30 lead on the
heels of a 15-4 burst to start the second half. Laue drained a jumper, Henley
and John Goldsberry netted three-pointers and Carter’s three opened the
massive advantage not even four minutes in.

Hofstra dug itself out of the 23-point hole and cut the deficit to 13 with
about 10 minutes to play. Stokes and Rivera capped a 16-6 burst with
consecutive threes to make the score 59-46.

The rally continued.

Stokes and Agudio each contributed to the remarkable comeback, with Agudio’s
free throw bringing the Pride within 62-59, the closest they had been since
trailing 5-2 early in the game. Carter, surrounded by two players, went up
strong and used the glass to restore some order, but Stokes made 1-of-2 from
the stripe on the other end to make the score 64-60 with 2:33 left.

Carter again took control, pulling up and draining a jumper while being
fouled. He made the bonus shot to push the edge back to seven.

Agudio made a trey from the right corner, but Carter responded with a three to
push the Seahawks out in front 70-63.

UNC-Wilmington made its free throws to seal the victory.

The Pride went almost 10 minutes without a field goal during the first half
and UNC-Wilmington took advantage of the futility. Adrian Uter converted a
layup with just over 18 minutes remaining to cut the deficit to 3-2, then
Hofstra didn’t make another field goal until just under the nine-minute mark.

Wyrick made a jump shot, then after Stokes made 1-of-2 from the charity
stripe, Wyrick drained a three-pointer and buried a floating jumper to push
the advantage to 15-3.

Temi Soyebo’s long-distance bomb opened a 22-5 edge 9 1/2 minutes into the
opening half. Hofstra steadied itself and pulled within 38-26 at the
half.

Game Notes

UNC-Wilmington leads the all-time series 10-2…Each team won on its home
court during the regular season…Goldsberry had 10 assists…The Seahawks are
going to the tournament for the first time since 2003.

HOFSTRA NWILMINGTN