|Cagers Look To Extend Exhibition Streak|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW men's basketball team shoots for its 25th straight exhibition victory Wednesday night when NCAA Division II Belmont Abbey visits Trask Coliseum for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Seahawks.
UNCW, 10-20 one year ago in Buzz Peterson's third season in the Port City, was picked to finish eighth in the league at the Colonial Athletic Association's annual Media Day. It will be the first of two exhibition games for the Seahawks, who will take on Methodist on Sunday, Nov. 3, in their final tune-up for the regular season.
“Coach (Stephen) Miss has done a great job there and they’ve had some very successful teams,” said Peterson. “In exhibitions, we’re more concerned more about what we do than our opponent. We’re trying to figure out our lineup, who plays well together and minutes.
“We’re going to use it to simulate a game-day situation. It’s a lot different when you have referees and the light’s a little brighter.”
The Seahawks stand 41-5 lifetime in exhibition games since their first tune-up back on Nov. 12, 1985. UNCW has not lost an exhibition game since being surprised, 71-57, by the Court Authority on Dec. 12, 1998.
UNCW shellacked North Carolina Wesleyan, 90-51, one year ago in their only exhibition game of the 2012-13 campaign. Tanner Milson's game-high 19 points led three Seahawks in double figures as UNCW used a 20-7 run midway through the opening half to open a 27-15 lead and never looked back. Chris Dixon chipped in 11 points and sophomore forward Cedric Williams had 10 for the Seahawks, who shot a blistering 63.2 percent from the field, including 64.7 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Peterson said, “We’ve been very encouraged by what we’ve seen over the last four or five days. We’ve had 25 practices and the guys are ready to go against somebody else. They’re tired of playing against the same people.
“These exhibition games have come quickly. The bottom line is that we want to win the ball game, but we still want to see what certain players can do in a game setting. We don’t want to lose the game, but we do want to see how players react in certain situations.”
Belmont Abbey is a private liberal-arts Catholic school located 15 miles west of Charlotte. The Crusaders compete in the Carolinas Conference and won the 2013 basketball crown.
The Crusaders and Miss feature four seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen on their 13-man roster. The list includes players from Taiwan and New Zealand.
Belmont Abbey was picked to finish sixth in the conference’s preseason coaches poll. The defending league champions return two starters from last year's 22-10 team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 seasons.
The Abbey graduated its top three scorers from last season, including First-Team All-American Tyshawn Good, whose 27.0 points per game average led all of NCAA in 2012-13. The Crusaders’ top returning leading scorer, Chris Davis, averaged 11.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while Darryl Durham, the other returning starter, averaged 11.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
For the fourth straight year, every UNCW basketball game may be heard on Sunny 104.5 FM, with the pre-game show 30 minutes before tip-off. Mike Vaccaro and Danny Dahl will provide the call.