UNCW Press Release
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW put its balanced scoring attack on full display Wednesday to throttle visiting James Madison, 74-54, in a battle of two of the Colonial Athletic Association's four first place men's basketball teams Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks, 17-11 overall and 12-5 in the CAA, remain locked in a tie for first place in the circuit with William & Mary, a 65-50 victor over Towson in Williamsburg. Northeastern sits a half game back and travels to Elon on Thursday to play the Phoenix.
Senior Addison Spruill led the Seahawks in scoring for the ninth time this season with 18 points as five players finished with at least eight points. Freshman Jordon Talley (11 points) and sophomore center C.J. Gettys (10 points) gave the Seahawks three in double digits.
Junior guard Ron Curry paced the Dukes, 18-12 and 11-6, with 23 points for his 21st game in double figures. Sophomore center Yohanny Dalembert closed with 11 points and nine rebounds and sophomore forward Deimitrije Cabarkapa had 10.
“It was one of our better games of the season,” said first-year UNCW Head Coach Kevin Keatts. “We had a lot of energy out there tonight and shared the basketball. The energy level of our guys was high and we started the second half like we started the game.
“We were playing for our seniors and it means a lot. We wanted to make it about everybody to take the pressure off of them. We just stayed the course.”
The Seahawks, who finished 10-2 at home in Keatts' first season, snatched control of the game in the early minutes and poured it on to send Spruill and fellow seniors Freddie Jackson and Cedrick Williams out in style in their final home appearance before 4,542 fans. UNCW had 15 assists on its 27 buckets in the contest.
After carving out a 36-25 advantage at intermission, the Seahawks squelched any hopes of a JMU comeback by scoring the first seven points of the second half, capped by Spruill's putback at 17:09 that gave the Seahawks a 43-25 cushion.
The lead swelled to 20 points with 8:21 remaining when Spruill canned a 12-footer in the paint to extend the cushion to 62-42.
UNCW then posted its largest lead of the game, 68-45, at the 4:49 mark behind Talley, one of the CAA's top rookies, who drained a triple on the right wing. The Seahawks coasted the rest of the way to nail down their fourth series sweep of the season.
UNCW jumped on JMU early and often and raced out to a 19-3 advantage just eight minutes into the much-anticipated matchup. While the Dukes struggled from the floor on just 1-of-10 shooting, the Seahawks converted seven of their first 13 field goal attempts to put the Harrisonburg, Va., club on its heels.
With the game tied at 3-all, the Seahawks reeled off 16 unanswered points behind Jackson, Gettys and Craig Ponder. Jackson drained a pair of 3-point baskets, Gettys scored seven points off the bench and Ponder made two layups in the spurt.
The muscle-bound Spruill finished off the suffocating run with two free throws at 11:31 for a 19-3 bulge before Dalembert scored on a hook shot at 10:26 to end an eight-minute scoring drought for the Dukes and close the gap to 19-5.
The Seahawks travel to Elon on Saturday for their final game of the regular season in a 7 p.m. tip-off with the Phoenix at Alumni Gym. The Dukes return to the JMU Convocation Center to entertain Hofstra on Saturday at 4 p.m.
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks lead the all-time series by a 35-33 margin…UNCW stands 19-11 against JMU at Trask Coliseum…The two teams battled to a 33-all draw on the boards…Both teams made seven treys…UNCW shot 46.4 percent in the first half and 50.0 percent after the break…The Seahawks had nine more field goals than the Dukes…UNCW forced 15 JMU turnovers and scored 14 points off those miscues…The Seahawks lead the CAA in steals and raked 12 in the game…Jackson played all but one minute in his final home game…The Seahawks are 17-10 against the Dukes in February…UNCW is now 4-8 against JMU's Matt Brady…The Seahawks finished 4-2 against Virginia opponents during the regular season.