WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Senior guard Chris Flemmings led five players in double figures with 17 points and UNCW shot 67.2 percent from the floor to reel off its seventh consecutive men's basketball victory, 100-64, over visiting Radford on Saturday afternoon.
The Seahawks, 10-1, are off to the best start in the school’s history and have not lost since a five-point defeat to Middle Tennessee State in Nashville back on Nov. 25. The Highlanders of the Big South Conference stand 4-6 on the season.
The Seahawks celebrated their 500th game in Trask Coliseum in style by posting the fourth largest winning margin under Kevin Keatts and scoring 34 points off 22 Radford turnovers with their customary pressure defense.
“In our 11 games so far, this is probably the best we’ve played on both sides,” said Keatts. “Offensively, we were clicking and making shots. And I thought our defense was really, really good today.
“It was a great game for us. We were very unselfish. We had 18 assists and got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys and I’ve got to be happy as a coach with the game we played today.”
Flemmings, the CAA’s Preseason Player-of-the-Year, topped the Seahawks in scoring for the fourth time by hitting 7-of-10 field goals en route to 17 points and his 10th double figure game of the season. Sophomore forward Devontae Cacok scored 17 points, sophomore guards C.J. Bryce and JaQuel Richmond chipped in 14 points and graduate guard Ambrose Mosley had 11.
Sophomore forward Ed Polite, Jr., paced the Highlanders with 20 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and junior forward Christian Bradford contributed 12.
In shooting the second highest percentage in school history, the Seahawks cleared 50 percent from the field for the sixth time this season and the fifth time in their last six contests. The total included 68.8 percent after intermission.
UNCW wasted no time in taking control of the contest and cruised to a 49-25 lead at halftime after scoring 26 points off turnovers by the shaken Highlanders
The Seahawks, behind Mosley, jumped on the Highlanders out of the gate and led, 11-2, with just 2:07 elapsed. Mosley made his first two shots - both three-pointers - from each corner and then converted a steal and layup at 17:53 to deliver a quick 11-2 advantage.
After Radford responded with four straight points to narrow the deficit to 11-6, the Seahawks went on an 18-3 run to blow the game open. Bryce and Mosley did most of the damage as UNCW connected on 8-of-10 field goals in the stretch and a triple by Flemmings padded the margin to 29-9 with 10:08 left in the first period.
It was more of the same after intermission as the Seahawks poured it on to post the largest scoring differential in the nine-game series. UNCW notched its largest lead of the game, 98-59, on a corner jumper by reserve Matt Elmore with 1:48 remaining.
Cacok, who entered the contest ranked third in the nation in field goal goal percentage, made all seven of his field goals on an assortment of shots around the bucket. He now owns the school record with 15 consecutive field goals over the last two games, combined with an 8-for-8 aim in Wednesday’s game at Campbell.
The Seahawks conclude the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule on Tuesday with a 6:30 p.m. matchup with regional rival East Carolina at Trask Coliseum.
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks lead the all-time series with the Highlanders, 5-4…UNCW moved to 4-0 at home this season…The Seahawks stand 26-4 in three seasons at home under Keatts..The win was the 26th by double digits for Keatts…The Seahawks are 5-0 vs. Radford at Trask Coliseum…Senior guard Denzel Ingram dished out seven assists…The Seahawks scored more than 50 points in a half for the seventh time this year with 51 markers in the second period…Cacok had four dunks to raise his season total to 35 slams, four shy of the single season record…The Seahawks have placed four or more players in double figures in five games this year.