|Huskies Freeze Out Seahawks In OT, 79-68|
BOSTON, Massachusetts – Northeastern big man Scott Eatherton got his usual gaudy numbers, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, but also got some help from his teammates as the Huskies outlasted UNCW, 79-68, in overtime Wednesday night at venerable Matthews Arena.
The Huskies snapped a three-game losing streak to win their Colonial Athletic Association debut and move to 4-11 overall, 1-0 in the league. The Seahawks dropped their sixth consecutive outing and fell to 6-11 and 0-2.
Eatheron, a junior transfer from St. Francis, Pa., racked up his 11th double-double with his impressive totals to anchor four NU players in double figures. Junior forward Reggie Spencer also had a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds, while sophomore guard David Walker scored 18 and junior guard Demetrius Pollard had 18.
Senior guard Chris Dixon paced four Seahawks in double digits with 15 points, including 13 in the second half and overtime. Junior guard Freddie Jackson chipped in 13, junior forward Cedrick Williams finished with 11 points and five caroms, and junior guard Addison Spruill wound up with 10 points off the bench.
“It was a hard fought game and I’m disappointed that we didn’t win,” said UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. “I’m very proud of our young men for scrapping and fighting back to get back into the game. We were concerned about their big kids inside and they’re much better than their record. They have one of the top schedules in the country and have played some good teams.”
The Seahawks fell behind, 25-19, at halftime and still trailed by eight points with 37 seconds remaining before putting together a wild rally to force sudden death and finally losing in OT. NU outscored UNCW, 21-10, in the extra five minutes.
At the end of regulation, an Eatherton jump shot with 53 seconds left staked the Huskies to a 58-50 advantage, but Williams and Dixon canned triples and Williams sank a pair of critical free throws with 7.5 seconds left to knot the game at 58-all.
It was all NU in overtime, however, as the Huskies snapped a 60-all deadlock with a 14-3 spurt that sent the Seahawks to their second straight conference loss to open the league race.
UNCW got its first look at the 6-8, 219-pound Eatherton and the experience was not a pleasant one. Eatherton went 8-of-14 from the floor and added three blocks and a steal in his first appearance against the Seahawks.
While the crafty Eatherton was plenty to handle on his own, he wasn’t the only thorn in the side of the Seahawks. With UNCW leading, 36-33, and just over 11 minutes left in the second period, Pollard canned back-to-back triples to turn the tide and Walker added eight key points in the overtime session.
“We came out in the second half and got the ball where we wanted to,” Peterson continued. “They had a couple three-pointers and that’s what we lack. In overtime, they made a nice play on the alley-oop to Walker to get things going for them.”
With temperatures tumbling into the teens in Boston, the Seahawks were hoping to generate their own heat in the chilly venue that opened in 1910. Instead, the cold shooting that has plagued the team in recent weeks marched on, with UNCW connecting on 39.7 percent from floor and only 4-of-14 behind the arc.
The first half was a see-saw affair before Huskies made a defensive stand in the final six minutes to grab a 25-19 advantage at intermission. There were seven ties and six lead changes alone in the opening period.
Spruill converted a layup off an in-bounds play with 6:03 left in the first half and Dixon added a pair of free throws at 4:55 to give the Seahawks a 19-18 edge. But that was it offensively for UNCW in the first period.
Northeastern answered by scoring the final seven points of the half to build its largest lead of the period, 25-19, capped by both ends of a bonus situation by Pollard with 38 seconds remaining. The Huskies scored 11 points off nine Seahawk turnovers to gain some breathing room at the break.
The Seahawks complete their two-game road swing with a 2 p.m. Saturday clash against Towson at the new SECU Center in suburban Baltimore. The Huskies, meanwhile, travel down to Philadelphia to battle Drexel in another 2 p.m. tip-off at the Daskalakis Center.
GAME NOTES: NU owns an 8-5 advantage in the series with UNCW…The Huskies are 6-1 vs. UNCW at Matthews Arena…The Seahawks stand 13-17 in conference road openers…Junior guard Freddie Jackson picked up two fouls in the first 3:40 and sat most of the first half…Rookie Chuck Ogbodo had four points and seven rebounds in the first period…The Seahawks had 16 turnovers and NU scored 19 points off those miscues…UNCW nipped NU on the glass, 40-38…The contest featured 12 ties and 10 lead changes…NU made 4-of-5 field goal attempts and went 13-of-17 in OT…The Huskies closed 26-of-37 at the charity stripe…NU had 15 assists on 23 baskets…Tanner Milson came up with four steals for UNCW…Freshman Chuck Ogbodo had four points and seven boards…Freshman center C.J. Gettys played 18 minutes and contributed eight points on 4-of-5 field goal attempts.