Seahawks close out 2019 with loss at Drexel

Seahawks close out 2019 with loss at Drexel
UNCW basketball (Source: wect)

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (UNCW release) Sophomore guard Camren Wynter poured in 30 points to lift Drexel past UNCW, 71-66, in the second Colonial Athletic Association matchup of the season for both teams on Monday night at the intimate Daskalakis Center in West Philadelphia.

The Dragons moved to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in the CAA after bouncing back from an 11-point loss to Charleston in their CAA opener on Saturday. The Seahawks dropped their seventh straight and stand 5-10 and 0-2 following their weekend swing to Delaware and Drexel.

Wynter, who fell one shy of his career high in scoring, made 11-of-19 shots and added 6-of-9 at the free throw line for his total. Sophomore guard Zach Walton was the only other player in double figures for the Dragons with 14 points.

Sophomore forward Marten Linssen paced the Seahawks for the second straight game and fifth time overall with 15 points. Junior guard Mike Okauru matched his career high with 14 points, including 12 in the first 20 minutes, and freshman playmaker Shykeim Phillips collected 12 points.

Trailing 33-31 at halftime, the Seahawks started quickly in the second half and led by as many as five points before the Dragons stormed back at the end to claim the first of two meetings between the two teams, who meet again on Feb. 27 in Wilmington.

Behind 42-38 after a bucket by Drexel’s Mate Okros, the Seahawks reeled off nine unanswered points and took a five point advantage, 47-42, on an Imajae Dodd slam with 13:53 remaining.

But Drexel, behind Wynter, answered with eight straight points of its own to regain the lead, 50-47. Still training 59-54, the Seahawks carved out a 60-59 edge with 5:30 left on a pair of free throws by Jaylen Sims until Wynter took over.

The slippery guard from Hempstead, N.Y., scored Drexel’s final eight points and the Dragons converted five of their last six field goals to gain the home victory. While Drexel was riding Wynter’s hot hand down the stretch, the Seahawks went cold from the floor, failing to score a basket over the final 3:03 of the game.

In a first half that featured five ties and five lead changes, the Dragons carried a 33-31 edge into the break after shooting 46.7 percent and riding the hot shooting of Wynter.

The reigning 2019 CAA Rookie of the Year, Wynter scored 12 of Drexel’s first 17 points on a variety of moves as the Dragons grabbed a 17-14 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the opening period.

The Seahawks responded to tie the game at 20-all on Okauru’s driving layup with 7:25 left before the Dragons regrouped for a seven-point advantage. A spin move by Walton in the paint gave Drexel its largest lead of the half, 31-24, with 3:54 on the clock.

UNCW scored seven of the final nine points in the half, however, capped by a long triple in the left corner by Jake Boggs as the buzzer sounded to slice the Drexel lead to two points at intermission, 33-31.

The Seahawks return home for their next two conference games, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. matchup on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, against visiting James Madison. UNCW then entertains Towson on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in a 7 p.m. tip at Trask Coliseum.