Seahawks drop CAA opener - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Seahawks drop CAA opener

(Source: UNCW) (Source: UNCW)

Freshman guard Ryan Allen drained four big 3-pointers in the second half and reigning Colonial Athletic Association Rookie-of-the-Year Ryan Daly converted a conventional three-point play with 50 seconds left to lift visiting Delaware over UNCW, 58-56, in the CAA men's basketball opener for both teams Saturday night at Trask Coliseum.

The Blue Hens snapped a four-game losing streak to the two-time defending CAA champions and picked up their fourth consecutive victory to improve to 8-6 overall and 1-0 in the CAA. The Seahawks are now 3-10 and 0-1.

Senior guard Jordon Talley of UNCW led all scorers with 15 points and also had five rebounds and four assists in an all-around game. Senior forward Marcus Bryan scored a season-high 11 points, sophomore guard Jaylen Fornes contributed 10 points and junior forward Devontae Cacok added seven points and grabbed 19 rebounds.

Allen paced the Blue Hens with 14 points, including 12 in the second half, as Delaware rallied from seven points down with seven minutes left. Daly finished with 13 points and seven boards on just 4-of-17 shooting.

"It was a good basketball game and obviously everybody wants to be 1-0 in the CAA and we didn't come out on top," said C.B. McGrath, UNCW's first-year skipper. "Our guys competed and played hard. We won the rebounding battle and did a nice job on the boards.

"We got open looks and it just didn't bounce our way. I liked our defensive intensity, but they made some tough shots."

The Seahawks trailed 31-26 at the break, but clamped down defensively in the opening eight minutes of the final period to turn the tables on the Blue Hens. Still behind 34-28, UNCW, keyed by Cacok, scored 10 unanswered points to build a 38-34 edge and then jumped ahead, 43-36, on a three-point play by Cacok at 11:06.

But the Blue Hens and Allen, who missed the mark on all four of his three-point attempts in the first half, surged again and grabbed the lead at 52-50 on Allen's fourth triple of the half with just over four minutes left.

UNCW regained the lead, 54-52, on a driving layup by Talley and two free throws by Fornes, but Daly answered with two free throws of his own to knot the score and after Talley dropped in two free throws on a technical foul, Daly delivered his decisive three-point play that gave the Blue Hens the lead for good.

The Seahawks did have a final chance at the game-winner. After the Blue Hens missed four of five free throws in the final eight seconds, UNCW got the ball to Fornes, but his three-point attempt from the right corner bounced off the rim as time expired. "We got a good look, he just missed it," said McGrath.

The Seahawks took advantage of a sluggish start by the Blue Hens to race out to a 9-0 advantage in the first four minutes of the contest before Delaware came storming back.

A lay-in by Fornes with 16:42 left in the opening stanza completed the 9-0 run to start the game, but the Blue Hens sank six consecutive shots to carve out their first lead of the contest, 10-9, on a pair of free throws by Allen at 14:24.

After Bryan connected on a 10-footer along the right baseline, the Blue Hens reeled off eight more points to inch out to an 18-11 advantage. Anthony Mosley's layup with 12:02 left in the first period gave the Blue Hens their largest lead of the half.

The Seahawks hung around the rest of the period, but wound up with their lowest first-half total of the season after shooting 36.7 percent in the first 20 minutes. Cacok went scoreless in the first half, missing five field goal attempts, but the nation's leading rebounder grabbed six rebounds.

The Seahawks moved to 1-1 in their three-game homestand. UNCW rings in the new year on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. matchup against Drexel, which fell, 90-75, to Elon earlier on Saturday.

The Blue Hens move down the coast to Charleston to square off against the Cougars on Tuesday in a 7 p.m. tip-off at TD Arena.

GAME NOTES: The two teams are opening the CAA slate by facing each other twice in the first nine days… The Blue Hens halted a three-game losing streak in Wilmington with the victory…UNCW still leads the all-time series, 22-12…The Seahawks are still 11-4 against the Blue Hens in Trask Coliseum…UNCW outrebounded UD, 48-39…The Blue Hens had only seven turnovers…There were seven ties and nine lead changes…UNCW is now 3-2 at home…The Blue Hens only played seven players…Eric Carter had 10 boards for the Blue Hens…Devontae Cacok and Jaylen Fornes each had three blocks as UNCW totaled eight swats on the night…The Seahawks went 8-of-9 at the free throw line…Devontae Cacok, the CAA's leading offensive rebounder, had nine on the offensive glass…The win was Martin Ingelsby's first in four tries against the Seahawks.


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