|Seahawks Return To Floor Against Jaspers|
UNCW Vs. Manhattan
THE TIP-OFF: With exams in the books, so to speak, the UNCW men’s basketball team returns to the court today to entertain Manhattan in a return game from a BracketBusters matchup two years ago. The Seahawks have not played in 12 days since a 69-50 throttling of Campbell at Trask Coliseum on Dec. 3.
THE COACHES: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson is in his 16th season with a 264-211 (.556) overall record and 39-64 (.379) mark in four seasons with the Seahawks. Manhattan’s Steve Masiello is coaching his 3rd season overall with a 41-32 (.562) record overall and at Manhattan.
THE PLAYERS: The probable starters for the Seahawks include Ben Eblen (6-1, 185, Gr., Guard), Addison Spruill (6-4, 225, Jr., Guard), Tanner Milson (6-2, 190, Sr., Guard), Shane Reybold (6-8, 238, Sr., Forward) and Cedrick Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., Forward). The probable starters for the Jasper include C.J. Jones (6-0, 175, Soph., Guard), Rich Williams (6-5, 190, Fr., Guard), Michael Alvarado (6-2, 180, Sr., Guard), Rhamel Brown (6-7, 230, Sr., Forward) and George Beamon (6-4, 175, Sr., Forward).
BRING A TOY: Sunday will be the annual “Toys for Tots” game sponsored by the Seahawks to benefit the Cape Fear Region. Fans bringing a new, unwrapped toy will be admitted for $5.
SEASON SNAPSHOT: The Seahawks have played 11 of 31 games this season and stand 3-1 at home and 3-4 on the road. UNCW has 20 games remaining, 10 at home and 10 away from Trask Coliseum. The Seahawks stood 5-6 after 11 games one year ago.
THE SERIES: The Seahawks and Jaspers have only met three times on the hardwood. Manhattan won the initial meeting on Dec. 30, 1995, in an overtime thriller at Draddy Gymnasium, 69-62. UNCW then returned the favor with a 64-58 decision on Dec. 19, 1996, at Trask Coliseum. The Jaspers took the last installment, 79-64, on Feb. 18, 2012, in Riverdale, N.Y.
ABOUT THE JASPERS: Manhattan brings a three-game winning streak into today’s clash after knocking off CAA member Hofstra, Marist and Monmouth in succession. The Jaspers have been a good road team in 2013-14, winning all five of their away dates. Manhattan improved to 2-0 in the MAAC by holding Monmouth to 34.6 percent shooting in a 75-66 win over the Hawks in their last outing.
LAST MEETING WITH THE CAMELS: George Beamon led all scorers with 22 points and Manhattan limited UNCW to 1-for-15 from three-point range in a 79-64 victory over the Seahawks on Feb. 18, 2012, at Draddy Gymnasium in Riverdale, N.Y. The Seahawks fell to 1-6 in Sears BracketBusters play by shooting just 35.1 percent and committing 23 turnovers in the afternoon matinee. Junior forward Keith Rendleman paced UNCW with 21 points and eight rebounds, while freshman guard Adam Smith contributed 10 points and five boards.
LAST UNCW-MC GAME AT TRASK COLISEUM: In the last meeting between the two clubs in Wilmington, UNCW evened the series by edging Manhattan, 64-58, on Dec. 19, 1996. In a game that featured 50 free throws, the Seahawks prevailed behind senior guard Mark Byington, who scored 18 points behind 4-for-6 from three-point range and 4-for-4 at the charity stripe. Byington is now the head coach at Georgia Southern.
FACING THE MAAC: UNCW has played six of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s schools through the years, compiling a 7-6 record. The Jaspers were UNCW’s last MAAC foe when the two teams squared off on Feb. 18, 2012, in Riverdale.
FACT OF THE GAME: The Seahawks are playing their fourth day game of the season and bring a 1-2 record in afternoon games into the contest. Overall, Buzz Peterson is 11-14 in afternoon tilts during his time at UNCW.
COACHING CAROUSEL: The Seahawks have battled the Jaspers three times and faced three different coaches: Fran Fraschilla (12-30-95), John Leonard (12-19-96) and Steve Masiello (2-18-12).
RESERVE POWER: Junior guard Freddie Jackson (11 points) and redshirt sophomore guard Craig Ponder (10 points) each scored in double figures off the bench for the Seahawks in the win over Campbell. Overall, eight players have reached double digits off the bench this season
DOUBLE DIGIT DUTY: Eight of UNCW’s 11 games have been decided by double figures. The Seahawks have won four games by double figures (Wingate, Liberty, Campbellsville, Campbell) and lost four games by double digits (Iowa, Iowa State, Western Kentucky, Marshall).
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE: The Seahawks have limited their last four opponents, Campbellsville, Stephen F. Austin, East Carolina and Campbell, to 36.7 percent on 87-of-237 shooting, including 26-of-99 (.263) from deep.
SHARING THE WEALTH: When Shane Reybold scored 15 points to pace the Seahawks vs. Campbell, he became the fourth different players to lead the team in scoring this season, joining Cedrick Williams, Addison Spruill and Chris Dixon as scoring leaders.
HOME COOKING: The Seahawks are 3-1 at home this season, 27-20 in Buzz Peterson’s four seasons and 317-143 all-time at Trask Coliseum.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME: If you can’t make it to the game, there are several ways to follow the action. Twitter: @UNCWmenshoops; Live Stats: UNCWsports.com; Video: HawkVision on UNCWsports.com; Radio: Sunny 104.5 FM-Wilmington, N.C.
NEXT UP: The Seahawks wrap up a three-game homestand next Saturday, Dec. 21, when former CAA foe Old Dominion visits Trask Coliseum for another 2 p.m. tip-off.