WILMINGTON, N.C. (UNCW release) - The UNCW men’s basketball team connected on 11 of its season-high 17 three-pointers in the second half en route to a school-best 60-point victory margin in a 113-63 manhandling of Division III N.C. Wesleyan Tuesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks, playing the first of four games in the Battle for the Capital tournament, improved to 3-2 overall and 3-1 at home. The Battling Bishops from Rocky Mount, N.C., stand 0-3.
“When the shots go in, everything looks a lot better,” said third-year UNCW Head Coach C.B. McGrath. “We’ve taken some pretty good shots throughout the course of the season. We talked about it yesterday at practice to make the extra pass and get extra paint touches. Seeing the ball go through the basket gives the guys confidence. I loved our defensive intensity the last 30 minutes of the game.”
The 60-point win broke the previous school record of 58 points set in a 105-47 thumping of St. Andrews on Dec. 3, 2014. The point total tied for the fourth most in school history, matching a 113-74 crushing of Allen on Nov. 18, 2018. It was also the largest victory margin in McGrath’s three years at the helm.
The Seahawks shot a robust 67.2 percent from the floor – their best under McGrath – in the wire-to-wire win.
Six of Jaylen Sims’ 10 buckets came from beyond the arc on the way to a career-best 26 points off the bench. The Charlotte, N.C. native was one of five Seahawks to set new career highs: freshman guards Jake Boggs (20) and Shykeim Phillips (19), sophomore guard Brian Tolefree (8) and junior guard Mike Okauru (14).
Boggs buried all eight of his field goal attempts, including back-to-back treys as UNCW ended the first half with a 25-9 run over the final seven minutes after the Bishops briefly trimmed the deficit to single digits. The Seahawks scored 21 of the first 32 points after the break to silence N.C. Wesleyan for good.
The trio of Sims, Boggs, and Phillips combined to make 84 percent of their field goals, including 10-for-14 from long distance.
Senior center A.J. Frye, a local product out of John T. Hoggard High School, paced the Battling Bishops with 18 points. Frye made six of his first eight shots to score 12 of NCWC’s first 14 points. Senior forward Ricardo Bullock joined Frye in double-figures with 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.
The Bishops misfired all on 17 three-point attempts. It marked the first time the Seahawks did not allow a three-pointer since Feb. 2, 2013, at Delaware when the Blue Hens went 0-for-11 from deep.
The Seahawks travel up I-95 to continue the Battle for the Capital against Cleveland State on Friday, Nov. 22, at the DC Sports & Entertainment Center in Washington, D.C. The venue will host the 2020 CAA men’s basketball tournament from March 7-10, 2020.