|Serious Threatt Spoils Home Finale|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Junior guard Jarvis Threatt returned from an eight-game hiatus to score a game-high 24 points and spark Delaware past UNCW, 70-57, in the men’s basketball regular season finale for the Seahawks Wednesday night at Trask Coliseum.
The Blue Hens clinched at least a tie for the Colonial Athletic Association regular season crown to improve to 21-9 in all games and 13-2 in the circuit. UD clinched the season series from the Seahawks after winning, 66-65, in Newark on Feb. 1.
The Seahawks closed with a 6-8 record at home and carry a 9-22 overall record and 3-13 conference mark as the No. 9 seed into next weekend’s CAA Championship in Baltimore.
“I’m very disappointed for our seniors, but Delaware is a very good basketball team,” said fourth-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. “Jarvis Threatt makes a huge difference for them. He’s such a crafty player and we had no answer for him tonight.”
Threatt, who missed the last eight games due to a suspension, returned to the floor and didn’t miss a beat, leading five UD starters in double figures with his 24 points on 7-of-10 from the floor and 9-of-20 at the foul line. Senior guard Devon Saddler, graduate guard Davon Usher and junior guard Kyle Anderson each added 11 points and senior forward Carl Baptiste chipped in 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the Blue Hens.
Tanner Milson, playing his final home game for the Seahawks, paced UNCW with 11 points. It was his 122nd career appearance.
In the 25th meeting between the two schools, the Blue Hens, the top free throw shooting team in the CAA at 71 percent for the season, struggled from the free throw line all night, but rallied behind a balanced attack and the crafty play of Threatt.
The Seahawks kept close to the CAA frontrunners most of the contest before the Blue Hens used a 13-3 spurt midway through the second half to gain some much-needed separation.
The Seahawks were still ahead, 43-37, with just over 13 minutes remaining when the Blue Hens made their move. Threat converted a conventional three-point play and Usher drilled a long trey in front of the UD bench to help the Hens grab a 44-43 edge at 11:59.
Saddler’s layup on the left side with 9:46 on the clock then pushed the margin to 50-46 and the Blue Hens closed out the final six minutes with a 16-6 flourish to turn back the upset-minded Seahawks and end UNCW’s three-game home winning streak.
UNCW opened the second half on a tear, scoring the first 13 points and bolting out to a 38-29 cushion over the first place Blue Hens. Delaware missed its first 11 field goal attempts of the second period, allowing the Seahawks to break away temporarily.
Milson opened the run with a three-pointer and closed it with another triple at 15:53 to give the Seahawks a 38-29 bulge before an Anderson three-ball at 15:23 broke the ice for the Blue Hens.
The two teams each converted two of their first six field goal attempts before Threatt connected on a triple from the left wing and made two free throws to help the Blue Hens inch out to a 13-10 advantage with 12:37 left in the first period.
UNCW remained cold from the floor, making just 4-of-15 over the first eight minutes, but hung around because of UD’s poor free throw shooting. The Blue Hens sank just 4-of-12 free throws in the early going and the Seahawks led, 18-16, on a spin move by Cedrick Williams in traffic at 7:28.
Saddler, the CAA’s leading scorer at 20.4 ppg., made his first basket of the game with 6:05 left in the period to tie the game at 20-all and added an acrobatic layup with just over two minutes to go in the first half to put the Blue Hens out front, 24-22.
UD, despite connecting on only 5-of-15 at the charity stripe, then took a 29-25 lead into the break behind Threatt’s 10 points and Saddler’s resurgence late in the period.
UNCW is now idle for nine days until they open play in the opening round of the CAA Championship on Friday, March 7, at the Baltimore Arena.
GAME NOTES: The Blue Hens only had eight turnovers on the night…UNCW shot 28.6 percent in the first half and wound hitting 30.8 percent for the game…UNCW’s six seniors went a combined 9-of-28 from the field…UNCW won the rebounding battle, 50-42…The Blue Hens came up with 10 steals…All 13 players that dressed played for the Seahawks…Senior forward Shane Reybold had nine rebounds to lead UNCW…The Seahawks had 19 offensive boards…UNCW went 5-of-20 from deep…UNCW scored less than 60 points for the 13th time in 31 games.