CHARLESTON, SC (WECT) - UNCW's spirited comeback fell short at College of Charleston on Thursday night as the Seahawks lost 80-76 in Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball action.
Ty Taylor led all players with 23 points, including five 3-pointers, and Devontae Cacok scored 20 and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for UNCW (5-14, 2-5 CAA). Jordon Talley was the third Seahawk in double-figure scoring with 18 points and handed out a game-high eight assists.
After trailing 48-31 at halftime and 53-33 early in the second half, the Seahawks clawed back to within two -- 78-76 -- on a Cacok layup with seven seconds left to play.
Cougar Joe Chealey was fouled with six ticks remaining, hit both free throws and COC's Cameron Johnson stole the ball as time ran out to seal the victory.
"I'm proud of my team's effort in the second half," UNCW coach C.B. McGrath said. "Obviously, we didn't put two halves together. We got behind too much. You have to play a perfect half when you're down 17 to a good team. ... We played the way we want to play in the second half. Hopefully, we can build on how we feel about our second half performance going forward."
All five of Charleston's starters were in double figures, led by Chealey's 18 points. Jarrell Brantley and Grant Riller each scored 16 for the Cougars (13-6, 4-3), who were outrebounded and outshot from the field by UNCW, but committed only eight turnovers.
UNCW returns to CAA play with a home game against Towson on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Trask Coliseum.