UNCW Press Release
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Senior guard Freddie Jackson erupted for a career-high 33 points and the UNCW men's basketball team presented new skipper Kevin Keatts with a convincing victory in his first home game as the Seahawks blew past outmanned St. Andrews, 105-47, Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks, who led wire-to-wire, improved to 3-2 on the season by recording the most lopsided win in school history over the NAIA school from Laurinburg, N.C. The Knights stand 3-3 on the year.
“I was very pleased with the way we shared the basketball,” said Keatts, the former associate head coach at Louisville. “We had 26 assists on 45 baskets and everybody got involved. We got out on transition and did a very good job with that part of it.”
Jackson drained 14-of-16 shots and added five rebounds with three assists in a dominating performance by the local product out of New Hanover High School. Senior guard Addison Spruill added 13 points behind four monster slams, freshman guard Malik Pugh chipped in 11 and junior playmaker Craig Ponder had 10 to give the Seahawks at least four men in double figures for the third time in five games.
Senior guard Aaron Smith paced the Knights with 16 points and sophomore guard Titus Gary collected 15 for the Knights.
The 6-4, 185-pound Jackson netted the bulk of his total in the first half and finished just two points shy of Denny Fields' high water mark at Trask Coliseum. Jackson was also just six points behind the single game record of 39 points set by all-time great Brian Rowsom in an 85-70 win at East Carolina on Jan. 17, 1987.
The Seahawks shot better than 59 percent for the third time this season by connecting on 45-of-65 field goals, just off the school record of 72.7 percent on Jan. 22, 1977, at Atlantic Christian (now Barton).
UNCW raced out to a comfortable 43-15 cushion at halftime and the final verdict of 58 points represented the largest lead of the night for the Seahawks. The 58-point decision eclipsed the previous record of 48 points in a 100-52 rout at Methodist during the 1963-64 season.
Jackson scored 20 of his point total in the opening stanza and tacked on 13 more in the second half as the Seahawks poured it on down the stretch to win for the 12th straight time without a loss to the visitors.
Jackson sank his fourth trey in five tries as the lead swelled to 57-24 at 15:21 of the second half and the Seahawks kept up the pace, with all 10 players dressed reaching the scoring column. Walk-on Nick Powell finished off the Knights with his second triple with 59 ticks on the clock and wound up with six points on a pair of treys.
St. Andrews missed its first six field goal attempts and fell behind early, 8-2, before Smith drained a triple in the left corner with 13:18 left in the first half. But the Seahawks reeled off nine quick points, capped by Jackson's nifty transition layup, to push the margin to 17-5 at 11:11.
The Knights remained ice cold from the floor and missed 13 of their first 15 shots to allow the Seahawks to pull away early. UNCW kicked it into high gear midway through the first half with 8:42 remaining when senior forward Cedrick Williams connected on the second of two free throws for a 22-8 advantage.
The Seahawks break for exams before suiting up again on Dec. 14 at Louisville. The Knights visit Tennessee Wesleyan on Dec. 6 for a 2 p.m. tip-off.
GAME NOTES: Sophomore forward Chuck Ogbodo made his first start of the season and the fifth of his career…It was the first appearance for the Knights in Trask Coliseum after facing the Seahawks 11 times in Hanover Hall…Seven Seahawks played at least 20 minutes…UNCW outscored St. Andrews in the second half, 62-32…St. Andrews shot a frosty 16.7 percent in the first half…The Seahawks scored 66 points in the paint…UNCW built a 46-21 advantage on the boards…The Seahawks had just 11 turnovers…UNCW's bench contributed 36 points.