UNCW comes up short to Delaware 59-55 in CAA Men’s Championship
WASHINGTON, DC (WECT) - The UNCW Seahawks came up short in their bid for the program’s first NCAA Basketball Tournament berth in five years Tuesday night, dropping a 59-55 decision to fifth-seeded Delaware in the CAA Basketball Championship at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC.
Coach Takayo Siddle’s second-seeded squad dropped to 23-9 in losing to the Blue Hens for the first time this season. Jaylen Sims led the Seahawks with 18 points, and Mike Okauru added 10. Delaware improves to 22-12 after getting 18 points from Jayre Davis and 16 from Andrew Carr in earning the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
The Seahawks led 34-30 at halftime, behind eight points from Okauru and seven from Sims. UNCW kept the lead for most of the first half, leading by as many as six points at 30-24 with 3:38 left, before the Blue Hens closed the gap at the break.
The Seahawks quickly opened a seven-point lead in the second half on a three-pointer by Sims. But Delaware responded, taking their first lead of the half at 44-43 with 8:44 to play, and stretching it to 53-50 at the 4:15 mark on a layup by Ryan Allen. Sims scored five straight points to put UNCW ahead 55-53 with 2:30 remaining in the game. A block by James Baker saved UNCW’s lead with 1:37 to go, before Davis’ short jumper put the Blue Hens up 56-55 with 1:01 on the clock. Sims missed a three-pointer with :17 to go, and Carr grabbed the rebound. He made one free throw, and Delaware grabbed his miss on the second with :11 left. A pair of free throws by Ebby Asamoah made it 59-55 Blue Hens. UNCW missed a pair of chances in the final seconds before the clock ran out on their 2021-22 season.
“The ball just didn’t bounce our way,” Siddle said after the game. “I thought we executed what we were trying to do. We got good looks. They just didn’t drop. Give Delaware a lot of credit. I thought they made a few more plays than we did. We fought hard. It bounced a few more times their way than it did for us. Overall, I think the program is in a very good place and headed in the right direction.”
Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.