|Seahawks Entertain Pride In CAA Tilt|
UNCW Vs. Hofstra
THE TIP-OFF: The UNCW men’s basketball team seeks to halt a seven-game slide tonight when Hofstra visits the Port City for the first of two regular season meetings with the Seahawks. Coach Buzz Peterson’s team has not tasted victory since a 19-point decision over Campbell back in early December.
THE COACHES: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson is in his 16th season with a 264-218 (.547) overall record, including a 39-71 (.354) mark in four seasons with the Seahawks. Hofstra’s Joe Mihalich owns a 274-218 (.558) record in 16 years as a head coach and is 5-11 (.313) in his first year with the Pride.
THE PLAYERS: The probable starters for the Seahawks include Chris Dixon (6-0, 190, Sr., Guard), Addison Spruill (6-4, 225, Jr., Guard), Freddie Jackson (6-4, 185, Jr., Guard), Chuck Ogbodo (6-9, 230, Fr., Forward) and Cedrick Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., Forward). The probable starters for the Pride are Dion Nesmith (6-0, 200, Gr., Guard), Jamall Robinson (6-5, 210, Fr., Guard), Stephen Nwaukoni (6-8, 240, Sr., Center), Zeke Upshaw (6-6, 215, Gr., Forward) and Jordan Allen (6-6, 200, Soph., Forward).
JUMP BALL: UNCW welcomes Mihalich to Trask Coliseum for the first time tonight when the Seahawks entertain the Pride in a CAA tilt. Tonight’s game starts a string of three home appearances in four games for Buzz Peterson’s Seahawks.
RECENT TREND: In UNCW’s last seven outings - all losses - the Seahawks have averaged 59.6 ppg, while allowing 72.0 ppg. Also, UNCW has shot 38.6 pct. and opponents have connected on 46.1 pct.
THE SERIES: The two teams lock horns for the 28th time tonight since Hofstra joined the CAA during the 2001-02 season. The Seahawks own a 14-13 edge in the series. UNCW has four sweeps (2002, 2003, 2004, 2008), Hofstra also owns four (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and the two clubs have split four times (2005, 2006, 2012, 2013).
ABOUT THE PRIDE: Hofstra rallied from 10 points down in the second half to edge the College of Charleston, 75-71, on Saturday in the first CAA game between the two teams. Graduate forward Zeke Upshaw anchored five starters in double figures with 22 points to help the Pride snap a three-game losing streak. It marked the first time HU placed five starters in double figures since a 93-64 win over UNCW on February 25, 2012.
LAST MATCHUP: In the last matchup between UNCW and Hofstra on Feb. 9, 2013, senior guard Stevie Mejia fueled a huge comeback as Hofstra rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to stun UNCW, 65-56, at Trask Coliseum. The Pride outscored the Seahawks in the second half, 44-25, behind Mejia, Jordan Allen and David Imes. Hofstra held UNCW to 30.8 shooting after the break to gain a split in the regular season series. Mejia led all scorers with 18 points, while senior forward Keith Rendleman had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Seahawks, who lost for only the third time at home.
BUZZ VS. HOFSTRA: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson stands 2-4 against Hofstra in six meetings. UNCW is facing HU’s Joe Mihalich for the first time tonight.
SEAHAWKS VS. NEW YORK FOES: The Seahawks have won 58.5 percent of their games (25-18) against 10 teams from the state of New York through the years.
NEW CAST: The Seahawks have four players facing Hofstra for the first time and the Pride has five players taking on the Seahawks for the first time.
ZEKE SIGHTING: Tonight is actually the second time the Seahawks have faced Hofstra scorer Zeke Upshaw, who owns two of the CAA’s five 30-point games and eight 20+ point games. Upshaw played four minutes in UNCW’s 63-54 loss at Illinois State on Dec. 3, 2011, in Normal, Ill.
ROAD WORRIES: Tonight’s competitors are having trouble winning on the road in 2013-14, with a combined away record of 3-14. UNCW is 3-8 away from home and HU is still looking for its first road win at 0-6.
CAPS AND GOWNS: The game features three players who have already earned their degrees. UNCW’s Ben Eblen graduated last spring from Alabama, while Hofstra’s Zeke Upshaw (Illinois State) and Dion Nesmith (Monmouth) also have their diplomas.
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: PPV via HawkVison on UNCWsports.com: Radio: Sunny 104.5 FM-Wilmington, N.C.
NEXT UP: The Seahawks wrap up a brief two-game homestand early Saturday with a 2 p.m. clash against Drexel’s Dragons.