WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Senior forward Keith Rendleman racked up his 16th double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds to power UNCW to a 73-67 upset of first place Northeastern in Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball action Saturday at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 10-16 overall and 5-9 in the CAA and gained a split in the regular season series with the Huskies.
NU lost for only the third time in conference play and stands 17-10 and 12-3. It was NU's first conference road loss in eight games this season and only its second road loss in 11 outings in 2012-13.
"Northeastern runs a very good half-court offense and we wanted to try different things to take them out of it," said third-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. "We tried to give them different looks. We took the lead with about eight minutes left and I thought we did a good job of finishing the game."
Rendleman, UNCW's leading scorer and rebounder, put the Seahawks on his back again and recorded the 38th double-double of his career on 7-of-11 shooting. Sophomore forward Cedrick Williams added 12 points and nine boards for the Seahawks, who shot 56.5 percent in the second half and 52.0 percent for the game.
Sophomore forward Quincy Ford made 9-of-11 shots and closed with 23 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies. Senior guard Jonathan Lee added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Joel Smith, NU's leading scorer at 17.0 ppg, was hobbled with an ankle injury and did not score in 16 minutes.
In the annual Homecoming game that featured 15 lead changes, the Seahawks forged out to a three-point lead at halftime, withstood several NU rallies and finished strong to avenge a 68-64 loss on Jan. 5 in Boston.
NU appeared in control with just under nine minutes remaining when freshman guard David Walker's three-pointer gave the Huskies a 54-48 advantage. But the Seahawks responded with eight consecutive points over a three-minute stretch to get back into it. Williams started the spurt with a bucket in the paint at 7:57 and Freddie Jackson's layup off a steal with 4:56 remaining gave the Seahawks a 56-54 edge
The Huskies took the lead again briefly, 58-56, on a layup by Ford before the Seahawks took the lead for good on a conventional three-point play by Rendleman and a key jumper by Jackson on the right wing that pushed the advantage to 61-58 with 2:43 on the clock.
UNCW went 10-of-14 at the free throw over the final 1:54 to nail down the upset. Williams and junior guard Chris Dixon, who finished with a career-high nine assists, each had four free throws in the critical stretch.
NU scored the first seven points of the second half and Lee's three-pointer from the left corner staked the league-leaders to a 35-31 advantage with 17:19 left to play. After UNCW junior guard Tanner Milson scored five straight points to knot the score at 48-all, the Huskies reeled off six unanswered points to gain some breathing room.
.UNCW opened up an early six point lead, 16-10, behind three consecutive slams by Rendleman and still led, 23-19, with 3:31 remaining in the opening period when Williams scored on a tip-in.
The lead changed hands three more times in the final three minutes before reserve forward Dylan Sherwood swished a triple from the top of the key with 23 seconds left in the period to give the Seahawks a 31-28 advantage at intermission.
The Seahawks travel to Old Dominion on Wednesday for their next contest in a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Ted Constant Center in Norfolk. The Huskies return to Boston to entertain James Madison on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: The game was only NU's fifth appearance at Trask Coliseum…NU leads the all-time series by a 7-5 margin…The Seahawks defeated the Huskies for the second time in three games…UNCW scored 38 points in the paint…NU went 7-of-26 from long distance…The Huskies had 10 steals…The Seahawks won the battle on the glass, 34-31…UNCW outscored NU, 16-8, at the free throw line, including 15-5 after intermission…Rendleman's 11 rebounds leaves him four shy of tying Brian Rowsom's all-time record of 1,015 rebounds…Junior center Dinko Marshavelski, who averages 3.2 ppg and 1.3 rpg, did not make the trip…It was UNCW's first win over NU in February…Peterson used the same lineup for the third straight game…Peterson moved to 14-13 at home with the Seahawks.