WASHINGTON, D.C. – UNCW staged a furious rally to come back from 25 points down in the second half and throw a scare into Big East power Georgetown before falling, 87-82, early Saturday in men’s college basketball action at the Verizon Center.
The Seahawks, participating in the annual BB&T Classic, lost for first time in 2015-16 and stand 5-1 on the new season. The Hoyas, tabbed to finish second in the Big East, won their fifth straight to improve to 6-3.
Junior guard Chris Flemmings anchored four Seahawks in double figures with 19 points, including 13 in UNCW’s second half surge. Graduate forward Dylan Sherwood and junior forward Marcus Bryan collected 14 points apiece and sophomore playmaker Jordon Tally had 11 points and seven assists. Bryan also snagged a career-high 12 rebounds for UNCW, which outrebounded the Hoyas, 41-36.
Senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera of Georgetown led all scorers with 27 points and added five assists in 36 minutes. Freshman forward Marcus Derrickson scored 15 and sophomore forward Isaac Copeland had 10 for the Hoyas, who shot 48 percent from the floor.
In the first match-up between the two schools, Georgetown capitalized on UNCW’s cold shooting to carve out a 39-28 lead at intermission before surviving a wild finish against the up-to-challenge Seahawks.
Trailing, 73-48, with 8:14 left in the contest, the Seahawks, behind Flemmings, Talley and Bryan, rallied to make it a one-possession game in the final minute before the Hoyas closed it out.
After a Smith-Rivera triple from the top of the key with just over eight minutes left staked the Hoyas to a comfortable 25-point margin, Flemmings answered with a trifecta and the comeback was on. The Seahawks then outscored the Hoyas, 32-10, over the next seven minutes and Talley connected on two of three free throws to chip the lead to 83-80, with 18 seconds left.
Less than a second later, Smith-Rivera tossed in a pair of free throws to get the advantage back to five points before Ingram connected on a short jumper. A pair of free throws by Tre Campbell with four ticks on the clock sealed the win for the Hoyas
UNCW scored the first six points of the contest before the Hoyas got untracked and used a 13-1 spurt over a four-minute stretch to gain control. A jumper by Smith-Rivera with 11:45 left in the first half gave the Hoyas a 13-7 advantage.
The Seahawks stayed close and pulled within 15-11 on a layup by Flemmings at 10:40, but the Hoyas used a 10-2 run to gain some separation. The lead then ballooned to 36-19 on a Kaleb Johnson basket with just over four minutes left in the first half.
UNCW rallied late in the first half, however, and sliced the deficit to 10 points at halftime, 38-28, when Bryan popped in his first three-pointer of the season as the horn sounded.
UNCW shot just 24.1 percent in the first half on 7-of-29 shooting, while Georgetown managed 42.3 percent on 11-of-26.
The Seahawks continue a stretch of five straight games away from Trask Coliseum on Wednesday, Dec. 16, with a 7 p.m. tip at East Carolina. The Hoyas play the sixth leg in a seven-game homestand on Tuesday when Monmouth visits for a 7:30 p.m. test.
GAME NOTES: Proceeds from the annual game benefitted the Children’s Charities Foundation of the Washington area…The Seahawks were hampered by foul trouble early as Craig Ponder and Devontae Cacok each collected three personals in the opening half…The Seahawks forced 16 turnovers and committed just 11 miscues…The double-double by Marcus Bryan was the first of the season for the Seahawks…UNCW scored 30 points the paint…The Seahawks also had 46 bench points in a balanced effort…The Seahawks wound up shooting 36.9 percent after warming up to 47.2 percent after intermission.