|Surging Seahawks Conquer Camels, 69-50|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW bolted out to a quick start and survived a brief scare to dispatch state rival Campbell, 69-50, in men’s basketball Tuesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks improved to 6-5 overall with their second straight win and head into a 12-day layoff for exams before returning to action Dec. 15 against visiting Manhattan. The Camels of the Big South Conference fell to 4-4.
Stocky senior Shane Reybold paced the Seahawks with his first career double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Scaggsville, Md., forward went 5-of-7 from the floor and at the charity stripe to lead UNCW for the second straight game and anchor four Seahawks in double figures.
Junior guard Freddie Jackson added 11 points and junior forward Cedrick Williams and sophomore guard Craig Ponder contributed 10 points apiece for UNCW, which shot 51.5 percent from the floor. It was the fourth double digit win for the Seahawks in the young season.
Rookie guard Kyre’ Hamer was the only Camel in double figures with 11 points off the bench for Kevin McGeehan’s club.
“I’m very pleased with this win tonight,” said fourth-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. “We were very concerned about Campbell. We’ve played eight games in 18 days and we’re getting there. We got the big lead and we knew they would make a run.”
UNCW finished a span of three games in five days by building a comfortable margin early and holding on against their oldest rival. In the 99th meeting between the two eastern North Carolina foes, the Seahawks led by as many as 21 points midway through the second half.
The Seahawks fashioned a 41-25 advantage at halftime and built on the lead after the break. Back-to-back field goals by the slippery Jackson near the 12-minute mark hiked the lead to 52-31 before Campbell mounted a big run to climb back into it.
Sophomore forward D.J. Mason sparked the comeback with three consecutive baskets and Andrew Ryan’s long trifecta from the right corner sliced the deficit to 56-48 with 5:54 remaining.
But Reybold scored on a putback, was fouled on the play and made the subsequent free throw to start an 11-2 run that closed out the win and gave the Seahawks their third home victory in four appearances.
“We had a good game plan, but we had a tough time getting to it,” said McGeehan, who took over the CU program following a long stint as Chris Mooney’s aide at Richmond. “It just felt like their guards were driving around us. They made some, missed some and kept getting the rebounds. We didn’t do enough tonight to put ourselves in a position to win.”
CU’s Leek Leek tied the score at 7-all with a bucket at 14:39 before the Seahawks reeled off 14 unanswered points to snatch control. While the Camels were going over five minutes without scoring, UNCW broke away with an assortment of baskets.
Ponder keyed the spurt, scoring six points, and Reybold’s baby hook in the paint gave the Seahawks a 21-7 cushion. UNCW then capped a 22-2 run when Jackson raced in for a layup to push the margin to 29-9 at 7:58, drawing a quick timeout by McGeehan.
The Seahawks then carried a 41-25 bulge into intermission when Addison Spruill drained a triple at the buzzer to highlight a 55.6 percent shooting performance by UNCW in the first period.
The Seahawks take an extended break for exams before returning to the floor against the Jaspers in a 2 p.m. home contest. The Camels return to the Edwin Pope Center to play host to Chowan on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: UNCW now leads the series by a 57-42 margin…The Seahawks are 22-2 against the Camels at Trask Coliseum…Coach Buzz Peterson stands 3-4 vs. Campbell…Freshman forward Chuck Ogbodo scored his first career points when he dropped in both ends of a bonus situation with 8:17 left in the first half….The Seahawks scored 44 points in the paint against the Camels…UNCW won the rebounding battle, 43-30…The Camels have not won in Wilmington Dec. 16, 1995…Ben Eblen led the Seahawks in assists with four dimes…Campbell went just 2-of-13 at the charity stripe…UNCW committed 18 turnovers, one shy of its season high…The Camels wound up shooting 36.2 percent on the night…Campbell led by one point, 3-2, with 19:25 left in the first half.