|Seahawks Visit Philly For Drexel Rematch|
UNCW Vs. Drexel
Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 – 7 p.m.
Daskalakis Center (2,509) – Philadelphia, Pa.
THE TIP-OFF: UNCW and Drexel meet again tonight just 14 days after the Dragons erased a 13-point halftime deficit and stunned the Seahawks, 79-63, in Wilmington. The Seahawks came within a cusp of pulling off a major upset on Saturday, falling 66-65 to CAA unbeaten Delaware in Newark.
THE COACHES: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson is in his 16th season with a 264-222 (.543) overall record, including a 39-75 (.342) mark in four seasons with the Seahawks. Drexel’s James “Bruiser” Flint owns a 309-241 (.562) record in 18 seasons overall and 223-169 (.569) mark in 13 years at Drexel.
THE PLAYERS: The probable starters for the Seahawks include Chris Dixon (6-0, 190, Sr., Guard), Craig Ponder (6-1, 185, Soph., Guard), Luke Hager (6-7, 205, Soph., Guard), Shane Reybold (6-8, 238, Sr., Forward) and Cedrick Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., Forward). The probable starters for the Dragons are Major Canady (6-4, 200, Fr., Guard), Frantz Massenat (6-4, 190, Sr., Guard), Chris Fouch (6-2, 185, Gr., Guard), Rodney Williams (6-7, 220, Fr., Forward) and Dartaye Ruffin (6-8, 250, Sr., Forward).
WRAPPING UP THE ROAD TRIP: UNCW concludes a two-game journey to the area tonight with a rematch against Drexel at the Daskalakis Center. The Seahawks fell to Delaware, 66-65, in the first leg of the trip on Saturday in a Noon matinee at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Dela.
TOUGH STRETCH: The Seahawks are in the midst of a stretch of eight games in 17 days and 10 games in 26 days.
TIGHT TIPS IN THE CAA: The record says 0-7. The results say differently. Five of UNCW’s seven losses in the conference have come by single digits and another came in overtime. The other was by 16 points to Drexel after the Seahawks led by 13 points at intermission.
THE SERIES: The Seahawks own a 12-10 advantage in the 22-game series. UNCW won 10 of the first 12 games in the series, including five straight at one point, before DU bounced back to win four in a row. Drexel has won four straight over UNCW, including consecutive 16-point victories, and eight of the last 10 meetings between the two teams.
ABOUT THE BLUE HENS: CAA Player-of-the-Year Jerrelle Benimon scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half and Towson shot 67 percent after intermission to hand Drexel a 75-73 setback on Saturday at SECU Arena. Senior guard Frantz Massenat led the Dragons with 18 points and moved into Drexel’s top-10 in scoring with 1,498 career points. Tavon Allen added 17 points, while Kazembe Abif finished with a career-high 16 points. Senior forward Dartaye Ruffin led DU with 10 rebounds and climbed into ninth place on the school’s career rebounding chart
STARTING IT OFF: Coach Buzz Peterson penciled in his 12th different starting lineup in Saturday’s loss at Delaware, giving redshirt sophomore Luke Hager his first start of the season.Overall, 12 of the 14 players on the roster have started at least once this season. Walk-ons Marcus Graham and Zack Allen are the only players who have not started this season.
LAST MATCHUP: Drexel staged a furious second-half rally to stun UNCW, 79-63, just 16 days ago on Jan. 18 in Wilmington. Senior guard Frantz Massenat and junior guard Freddie Wilson keyed the second-half comeback as Drexel rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit. Massenat poured in 30 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Wilson came off the bench to score all 16 of his points after halftime as Drexel outscored UNCW, 52-23, in the second half. Redshirt sophomore Craig Ponder scored a season-high 16 points to lead the Seahawks, who shot just 28 percent in the final period.
LAST MATCHUP IN PHILLY: In the last game between the two clubs in PhiladeLphia, Drexel handed UNCW a 62-46 setback in the final game of the 2013-14 season on March 2, 2013. Senior forward Daryl McCoy scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to power the Dragons, who broke away from the Seahawks with an 18-6 run early in the second half to win the only meeting of the season between the two teams. Keith Rendleman had 24 points and 10 rebounds in his final collegiate appearance for the Seahawks, who shot just 35.2 percent.
BIDDING FOR ALL-CAA: Junior forward Cedrick Williams is putting together an All-CAA caliber season. The big man ranks 10th in scoring (14.4), ninth in rebounding (7.2), fourth in field goal percentage (.547), third in free throw percentage (.788), 11th in steals (1.0) and second in blocks (1.7).
“A” FOR ADDISON: Junior guard Addison Spruill enjoyed a big day Saturday with 16 points off the bench for the Seahawks. The transfer from Brevard (Fla.) CC rebounded after a pair of scorless games to help the Seahawks throw a scare into the Blue Hens.
BUZZ VS. DREXEL: Buzz Peterson is facing Drexel for the sixth time in his career and stands 1-4 against the Dragons and Bruiser Flint.
STALLED SCORING: The Seahawks have only reached the 70-point mark twice in the last 11 games and just eight times all season. The Dragons have reached 70 points on 13 occasions, including four of the last five games.
WELCOME BACK: Two key contributors are back for each club tonight after not playing in the first pairing. UNCW’s Shane Reybold just returned to the active roster on Saturday and had eight points and six rebounds for the Seahawks. Drexel’s Tavon Allen, meanwhile, had 17 points off the bench for Bruiser Flint’s squad vs. Towson.
BOMBS AWAY: Drexel’s Chris Fouch has attempted 160 three-pointers. That’s 74 more that UNCW’s Tanner Milson, who is high man for UNCW with 86 trey attempts.
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: Drexel Dragon TV: Radio: Sunny 104.5 FM-Wilmington, N.C.
NEXT UP: There will be no Buzz Peterson Radio Call-In Show tonight or the following two weeks at Buffalo Wild Wings on Eastwood Road. The next show is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 24, from 7-8 p.m.
NEXT UP: UNCW returns home briefly to entertain William & Mary on Wednesday before traveling to Long Island to face Hofstra this weekend. The Seahawks and Tribe will be playing for the first time this season in Wednesday’s 7 p.m. tilt at Trask Coliseum.