Seahawks Rebound With 68-66 Win At W&M
Courtesy: UNCW Athletic Communications
WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia - Too much of the M&M Gang - sophomores Donte Morales and Tanner Milson - and the usual heavy dose of inside workhorse Keith Rendleman lifted UNCW over William & Mary, 68-66, in a Colonial Athletic Association men's basketball matinee Saturday at William & Mary Hall's Kaplan Arena.
The Seahawks, who shot 64 percent in the second half and a season-high 55.8 percent for the game, snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 8-10 overall and square their CAA record at 4-4. The Tribe suffered its third straight defeat to dip to 4-16 and 2-6.
"We're very excited and we're going to enjoy this win," said Buzz Peterson, who is 2-0 in Williamsburg after tacking on another two-point win over the Tribe at Kaplan Arena. The Seahawks won a nailbiter, 61-59, last season. "Our defensive intensity was a lot better today. From tip to end, we did a good job of controlling the game."
Morales matched his career-high with 16 points and Milson added a season-best 12 points to give the Seahawks some extra punch in the first of two meetings this season with the Tribe. Rendleman, meanwhile, racked up his 10th double double of the season and 16th of his career with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Adam Smith added 12 points to give the Seahawks four players in double figures.
Senior forward Quinn McDowell of W&M led all scorers with 18 points. Sophomore forward Tim Rusthoven had a double double of his own with 17 points and 10 boards, while Matt Rum chipped in 11 points and five assists for the Tribe.
In a rare afternoon game at William & Mary Hall's green-and-gold Kaplan Arena, UNCW jumped out to a seven-point halftime lead, surrendered the lead late and then held on in the final minute to improve to 4-6 on the road this season.
After leading, 33-26, at intermission, UNCW enjoyed a 10-point cushion early in the second period when Rendleman's nifty tip-in with 16:02 left capped a 7-0 spurt and gave the Seahawks a 46-36 advantage.
The Seahawks still led, 60-51, with just under six minutes left until the Tribe came alive. Led by McDowell, W&M reeled off 10 straight points and Rum's long triple from the right side with 3:29 remaining gave the Tribe its first lead, 61-60, since the 12-minute mark of the first half.
But Rendleman gave the Seahawks the lead for good, 62-61, on a baby hook along the right baseline with 1:33 on the clock and UNCW got two more buckets from Jackson and Morales to curb W&M's comeback. A Jackson slam with 17 seconds left extended the margin to 68-63 before Rum drained another trifecta with under two seconds left to play.
Morales and Milson, with nine points in the opening period, sparked the Seahawks to a 33-26 edge at halftime. Morales went 4-for-7 from the floor and Milson drained 3-of-4 triples to help Peterson's club shoot 48.1 percent from the field.
After Fred Heldring's layup gave the Tribe a 12-11 edge with 12:08 remaining in the first half, freshman forward Cedrick Williams canned a short jumper on the left elbow to put the Seahawks back in front, 13-12, with 11:37 left.
Milson then got hot and the Seahawks created some breathing room. The Cedar Hill, Texas, product drained three trifecftas in a three-minute span as UNCW closed out the half in strong fashion. A Rendleman dunk gave UNCW its largest lead of the period, 33-22, at 1:47 before McDowell, who led all scorers in the first half with 10 points, answered with a pair of baskets to slice the deficit to seven points at intermission, 33-26.
UNCW heads up I-95 to take on George Mason on Monday at 9 p.m. in a game televised by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN). W&M wraps up a two-game homestand on Monday with a 7 p..m. matchup against Drexel.
GAME NOTES: UNCW won the battle of the boards, 36-28...UNCW had two players with 10 or more rebounds in the same game for the first time this season...The Seahawks struggled at the free throw line for the second straight game, connecting on just 2-for-9 at the stripe...W&M shot 37.7 percent on the day...Tanner Milson (12 to 30) and Matt Wilson (4 to 34) switched jerseys for the game...UNCW leads the all-time series with W&M, 38-19...The Seahawks are 18-10 in Williamsburg...Coach Buzz Peterson returned to the UNCW bench after sitting out the last game vs. JMU...The Seahawks have won three straight over the Tribe...The Seahawks are 2-2 in CAA road games...W&M is the first of four consecutive Virginia opponents this season for the Seahawks...UNCW is 2-2 in day games this season and 4-4 under Peterson.