|Seahawks Make Home Debut Against Wingate|
UNCW Vs. Wingate
THE TIP-OFF: UNCW makes its first official appearance at Trask Coliseum tonight following a pair of exhibition wins in early November. The Seahawks are coming off an 80-78 overtime thriller over high-scoring Charleston Southern on Wednesday in Charleston.
THE COACHES: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson is beginning his 16th season with a 259-208 (.555) overall record and 34-61 (.358) mark in four seasons with the Seahawks. Wingate’s Brian is in his 16th season as a head coach with a 130-144 (.474) record overall, including an 88-62 (.587) mark in six seasons with the Bulldogs.
THE PLAYERS: The probable starters for the Seahawks include Ben Eblen (6-1, 185, Gr. Guard), Addison Spruill (6-4, 225, Jr., Guard), Chris Dixon (6-0, 190, Sr., Guard), Shane Reybold (6-8, 238, Sr., Forward), Cedrick Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., Forward). The probable starters for the Bulldogs includes Xavier Griffin (6-1, 195, Soph., Guard), Ryan Daye (5-10, 185, Jr., Guard), Isiah Cureton (6-4, 200, Fr., Guard), Deion Turman (6-8, 237, Sr., Center), Jeff Parker (6-7, 220, Sr., Forward).
JUMP BALL: After opening the new season with three games on the road, the UNCW men’s basketball team returns to Wilmington briefly tonight to entertain NCAA Division II Wingate in the home opener for the Seahawks. Dating back to last season, UNCW has won seven consecutive non-conference home games.
FAST BREAK: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson has only faced Wingate once, but it was a big game - his head coaching debut on Nov. 22, 1996, when Appalachian State cruised to an 87-63 victory in Boone.
THE SERIES: UNCW and Wingate are squaring off for the first time tonight and Buzz Peterson is facing Brian Good for the first time as well.
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: Wingate just opened the new season Wednesday night and dropped a tight 81-80 decision to visiting Mount Olive at Cuddy Arena in Wingate. The loss overshadowed an outstanding game by junior guard Ryan Daye, who poured in a career-high 35 points, including 21 points in the first half. In the end, MOC’s Jordan McCain sank a pair of free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining to lift the Trojans to the road win.
TIP-INS: In their last game against a SAC opponent, the Seahawks swept past Coker, 62-47, on Dec. 5, 2012, at Trask Coliseum. Senior Keith Rendleman posted his 25th career double-double with 20 points and 13 boards in the win over the Cobras.
BUZZ VS. D-II: Wingate is one of eight NCAA Division II opponents UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson has faced in his 16-year career. Overall, Peterson stands 17-1 against non-Division I opponents, losing only to King College, 87-76, on Feb. 1, 2010, during his second stint at Appalachian State.
BENCH TALK: UNCW skipper Buzz Peterson has not lost in five tries against teams from the South Atlantic Conference (SAC).
INTERESTING FACT: Two Seahawks - graduate student Ben Eblen and junior guard Addison Spruill - are making their first official appearances in Trask Coliseum tonight. Both players saw action in the two exhibitions at home, but this will be the first time the pair logs time officially.
SOLID AT THE STRIPE: Cedrick Williams has been nearly automatic at the free throw line through the first three games. He is 15-of-17 at the charity stripe and has helped the Seahawks make 73.1 percent of their free throws early this season.
BIG CED OFF TO STRONG START: Junior forward Cedrick Williams struggled on the road in 2012-13, but has already shown resilience away from home early in 2013-14. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., product led all scorers with 15 points and nine rebounds in the season opener against the Hawkeyes, added 11 points in the second half at ISU and then erupted for 26 points in Wednesday’s victory at CSU.
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; Television/Internet: HawkVision via UNCWsports.com; Radio: Sunny 107.5 FM-Wilmington, N.C.
ON THE HORIZON: The Seahawks embark on another three-game road swing this coming week, beginning with a Monday date at Liberty. UNCW wraps up the trip with contests at Western Kentucky on Thursday and Marshall on Saturday.