WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Junior forward Cedrick Williams scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds to power UNCW past Belmont Abbey, 101-51, for the team's 25th consecutive exhibition men's basketball victory Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks play another tune-up Sunday against Methodist at 2 p.m. before opening the regular season next Friday at Big Ten juggernaut Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
UNCW recorded its most lopsided exhibition win since starting exhibition tilts in November of 1985. It also marked the seventh time the Seahawks have eclipsed the 100-point mark in exhibition play.
Williams, a third-year player from Murfreesboro, Tenn., anchored five players in double figures for the Seahawks, making 6-of-7 shots. Senior guard Tanner Milson chipped in 13 points, senior guard Chris Dixon added 11 and senior forward Shane Reybold and senior guard Marcus Graham had 10 apiece.
Senior guard Chris Davis was the only player in double digits for the NCAA Division II Crusaders with 12 points. Belmont Abbey wound up shooting a chilly 25.4 percent from the floor.
The Seahawks shot a torrid 66.1 percent on the night, converting 41-of-62 field goals, and added 28 assists against just 10 turnovers. UNCW also came up with 13 steals on the night.
"I was very pleased overall," said fourth-year Head Coach Buzz Peterson. "It was a good game to get the jitters out. I told them that we'd play tougher teams, but we made good decisions in transition and did a good job of sharing the basketball."
After carrying a 44-24 lead into intermission, UNCW used an 18-3 spurt to bolt out to an insurmountable lead. Milson's layup with 16:10 showing put UNCW on top, 53-30, and Dylan Sherwood's uncontested layup extended the margin to 69-33 at 10:50.
UNCW registered its largest lead of the night when Graham converted a putback with just under a minute to play to give the Seahawks the final result, 101-51.
A Ray Chen triple in front of the Seahawk bench closed an early deficit to 7-5 for Belmont Abbey of Conference Carolinas before Peterson's club got untracked.
Redshirt sophomore Luke Hager scored a bucket with just under 15 minutes left in the first half to start a 19-2 run that broke the game open for the Seahawks. The margin swelled to 13-5 before Tyler Horn answered with a shot along the left baseline to slice the lead to 13-7 at 12:23.
But the Seahawks reeled off 13 unanswered points to push the advantage to 26-7 and the rout was on. A pair of free throws by junior guard Freddie Jackson pushed the lead to 26-7 with 8:47 left in the opening half.
"Quite honestly, they are a far better team," said Belmont Abbey seventh-year coach Stephen Miss. "We have a lot of things to work on. They are a CAA team and have talented players. It was a glorified practice for them."
The Seahawks shot a blistering 63 percent in the first half and came up with eight steals to jump out to a lead they never relinquished.