WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW shot a blistering 70.4 percent in the first half and tied a conference record with 21 three-pointers in coasting past Delaware, 108-80, to remain in a tie for first place in the Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball standings on Saturday at Trask Coliseum.
Playing before their third consecutive sellout, the Seahawks (21-3, 10-2) completed a sweep of the regular season series with UD after taking the first meeting, 91-81, on Jan. 7 in Newark. The Blue Hens (9-16, 2-10) dropped their 10th game in the last 12 outings.
UNCW and Charleston sit atop the CAA standings with identical 10-2 league marks, with Elon, William & Mary and Towson in a logjam for third place at 7-5.
"I thought we played UNCW basketball tonight," said Kevin Keatts, UNCW's third-year skipper. "We shared the basketball and controlled the tempo. We shot the ball well because we passed the ball well. Our guys played with tremendous energy and passion.
"After we lost the game on Thursday night, we were a little sick, and we got well tonight."
Senior guard Chris Flemmings paced the Seahawks in scoring for the team-leading ninth time this season with 22 points. Graduate guard Ambrose Mosley added a career-high 18 points and sophomore forward Devontae Cacok and rookie guard Jaylen Fornes chipped in 17 points apiece.
Freshman guard Ryan Daly and sophomore forward Eric Carter had 20 points each for the Blue Hens and first-year coach Martin Inglesby. Junior playmaker Anthony Mosley pocketed 15 points and freshman forward Jacob Cushing finished with 11 points.
The Seahawks bounced back nicely after a narrow 67-66 loss to Charleston in the opening game of a three-game homestand by shooting 69.2 percent overall and leading by as many as 30 points down the stretch.
UNCW buried 21-of-32 three-point attempts to set a UNCW single game record, bettering a 17-for-30 performance in a 101-92 loss at Troy on Dec. 22, 2008. The three-point barrage also matched Northeastern's CAA-record 21 triples vs. the Blue Hens on Jan. 5 in Boston.
The Seahawks reached the century mark for the seventh time this season and the 11th time in Keatts' three-year stint in the Port City.
After enjoying a 54-37 bulge at the break, the Seahawks continued their aerial assault, canning 17-of-25 field goals in the second half. Overall, UNCW made 11-of-16 three's in the first half and 10-of-16 after the break.
The largest lead of the contest came with 42 seconds remaining when Mosley found the bottom of the net for the sixth time from long range in the left corner.
The two clubs came out firing in the early going, combining for 9-of-14 from the floor in a see-saw first five minutes before the Seahawks got on track. UNCW finished the first half shooting 70.4 percent from the floor – the best for the team in any half this season.
UNCW was hot early from long distance, making six of its first eight trey attempts, and Mosley drained the second of back-to-back triples at 11:24 to give the Seahawks an early 23-18 lead.
Flemmings sizzled, in particular, making his first five field goal attempts – including three straight trifectas – to give the Seahawks a working margin. Flemmings' third three-ball capped a 7-0 run that gave the Seahawks a 36-25 cushion at 7:44 of the first.
The Blue Hens chipped away at the lead, however, and narrowed the deficit to 39-33 on a driving layup by Daly with 3:58 remaining in the first half.
But Flemmings and Fornes exploded again to raise the lead back to 12 points and the Seahawks carried a 54-37 advantage into intermission after Denzel Ingram drained a long three-pointer with four seconds left in the first half.
Flemmings led all scorers with 16 points in the opening 20 minutes and Fornes, who came in with a previous career high of eight points, shattered that milestone with 11 points in the first period.
The Seahawks close out their season-long three-game homestand on Thursday (Feb. 9) when James Madison visits Trask Coliseum for another 7 p.m. contest.
GAME NOTES: Freshman Jaylen Fornes made his first career start for the Seahawks, marking only the third different lineup for Kevin Keatts and his club this season…The 70.4 percent shooting in the first half was the best half for the Seahawks since making 76.5 percent vs. St. Andrews on Dec. 3, 2014 …UNCW made 13 consecutive free throws during one stretch in the contest…The Seahawks had 27 assists on 36 baskets…UNCW shot 75 percent at the free throw line, converting 15-of-20 at the charity stripe…Junior guard Jordon Talley dished out a game-high nine assists…UNCW led for 36:02 of the contest…Six different players had three-pointers for the Seahawks…The Seahawks had fewer than 10 turnovers for the 12th time this season...UNCW's 21 triples tied for the fourth most in NCAA Division I play this season.