|Seahawks Shackle Pirates In Thriller|
GREENVILLE, North Carolina – Junior forward Cedrick Williams swatted away a game-tying attempt by Prince Williams as time expired to preserve a 70-68 victory for UNCW over East Carolina in college men’s basketball late Sunday at Minges Coliseum.
The Seahawks, playing the middle leg of three games in five days, evened their record at 5-5 with the uplifting victory in the first game played between the two teams since Dec. 3, 2008, East Carolina lost for just the second time this season and stands 6-2.
“Our kids fought all night long and played with a lot of energy,” said fourth-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. “I kept feeling good about it because we were scoring when we had to. Cedrick Williams made a big-time play with the block and you have to give him a lot of credit.”
Williams, who shared game-high scoring honors with 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, was one of four players in double figures for the Seahawks, who shot 53.6 percent in the second half to take down the Pirates. Junior guard Addison Spruill and senior forward Shane Reybold added 15 points apiece and junior guard Freddie Jackson contributed 13 off the bench for UNCW.
Sophomore guard Paris Roberts-Campbell paced the Pirates with 15 points, including 13 in a spectacular first half. Freshman guard Caleb White scored 14 before fouling out late in the game, Rhode Island transfer Akeem Richmond scored 13 and Williams finished with 10 for ECU.
In a see-saw battle that featured five ties and 10 lead changes, UNCW was in control most of the way and strung together six points with just under two minutes left to build a 69-64 lead on a Cedrick Williams monster slam with 30 seconds remaining.
But the Seahawks missed 3-of-4 free throws in the final 30 seconds, leaving the Pirates trailing 70-68, with 6.9 seconds remaining. Prince Williams drove the left side of the lane and Cedrick Williams rose up to slap the ball over the baseline as the horn sounded, setting off a wild celebration on the court by the Seahawks.
After the score was tied at 31-all at halftime, Reybold scored the first four points of the second half to get UNCW off to a good start in the second period and his dunk on a putback with just under 16 minutes remaining put the Seahawks on top, 41-35.
But the Pirates reeled off eight consecutive points to retake the lead, 43-41, on a three-pointer by White at 13:19.
No more than four points separated the two teams the remainder of the game until Jackson scored on back-to-back drives and Cedrick Williams flushed one home to give the Seahawks a five-point advantage with 30 seconds left, setting up the dramatic finish.
Williams scored early and often for the Seahawks in the first half as 20 of UNCW’s 31 points came inside the paint. Williams scored on a turnaround jumper at 14:12 to cap an eight-point spurt and give the Seahawks their largest lead of the first half, 13-5.
However, Roberts-Campbell brought the Pirates back with a hot streak in the middle of the period. Still trailing 15-7, ECU scored twice on buckets by Michael Zangari and Brandan Stith to slice the deficit to 15-11 before Roberts-Campbell caught fire.
The sophomore from Charlotte poured in 13 consecutive points and his three-ball on the right side tied the score at 24-all with 6:38 left in the first half. He wound up the first half with 13 points in the first 20 minutes.
UNCW took a 31-28 edge on a lay-in by Williams in the lane with just over two minutes left, but White scored his only basket of the half with a triple from the right corner with five seconds on the clock to knot the score at intermission.
The Seahawks return home to entertain their second straight state foe when Campbell visits Trask Coliseum on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. tip-off. ECU plays host to Fayetteville State on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: UNCW leads the all-time series by a 34-27 margin…The game was the first between the two teams in Greenville since Dec. 22, 2007…UNCW now stands 13-18 lifetime at Minges Coliseum…Peterson stands 3-1 against ECU in his 16-year head coaching career…Ben Eblen dished out a game-high seven assists…The Pirates committed just five turnovers…UNCW owned a 39-34 advantage on the glass…ECU shot 39.3 percent from the floor…The Pirates attempted 11 more three-point field goals than the Seahawks…ECU’s Brandan Stith pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds…Cedrick Williams had three blocks for the Seahawks.