TOWSON, Md. (UNCW News Release) -- Six Towson players reached double-figure scoring and the Tigers shot 54 percent to push past visiting UNCW, 89-71, in the conference road debut for the Seahawks on Friday night at SECU Arena.
The Tigers, picked to finish second in the Colonial Athletic Association’s preseason poll, snapped a four-game skid and moved to 11-5 overall and 1-2 in the CAA.
The Seahawks are 4-11 and 1-2 after playing the first leg in a two-game swing to the Mid-Atlantic area. UNCW plays at Delaware on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“They got some wide open looks early in the game and that got them started,” said C.B. McGrath, UNCW’s first-year head coach. “They’re obviously better shooters than they’ve shown. We played better defensively in the second half, but they were making step-back three’s. If someone wants to shoot step back three’s against us and make them, more power to them.
“We just didn’t have our normal activity level in our zone that we’ve had in the last few games and that enabled them to get some open looks.”
Senior guard Jordon Talley of UNCW became the 24th player in the program’s history score 1,000 points when he drained a 3-pointer from the right corner with 8:11 remaining in the first half. The Richmond, Va., product wound up with 14 points and now has 1,009 points in 107 career appearances.
Towson senior guard Mike Morsell led all players with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting and sophomore guard Zane Martin and senior guard Brian Staff collected 12 points apiece. Senior forward Eddie Keith II had 11 points and redshirt junior guard Jordan McNeil and sophomore forward Justin Gorham chipped in 10 each.
Junior forward Devontae Cacok and redshirt sophomore guard Ty Taylor scored 15 points to anchor three players in double figures for UNCW. Cacok, the nation’s leading rebounder, also added 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season and the 24th of his career. Talley rounded out UNCW’s double-digit scorers with his 14 points and also dished out five assists.
Towson kept its home record clean at 5-0 by overtaking the Seahawks midway in the first half and holding off several runs by the two-time defending CAA champions.
The Tigers led 45-35 at halftime, but Talley connected on a pair of free throws and Taylor converted a steal and layup to close the gap to 51-46 with 16:28 remaining.
Towson outscored UNCW 20-6 over the next six minutes to build a working margin with McNeil providing a spark off the bench. He scored eight of his 10 points in the stretch as the Tigers built their largest lead 75-54 with 8 minutes left.
Towson shot 54 percent from the floor and sank 12-of-22 from 3-point range. UNCW shot 44.6 percent, including 52.0 percent in the second half, and 7-of-18 from long distance.
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks remained winless away from Trask Coliseum with a 0-9 mark in road/neutral contests…Towson is ranked 14th in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll…UNCW leads the all-time series by a 22-15 margin…The Seahawks have won six of the last eight vs the Tigers…Towson owns a 3-2 edge over UNCW at SECU Arena…UNCW is a combined 9-11 lifetime on the Tigers’ two courts…UNCW held Towson leading scorer Zane Martin eight points below his 20.5 ppg average…The two teams combined for 31 turnovers: UNCW (17), Towson (14)….The Tigers won the rebounding battle, 38-31…The Seahawks had 15 assists on 25 baskets…Towson had eight blocks…There were nine lead changes in the game.