|Seahawks, Bulldogs Tangle In TV Game|
UNCW Vs. UNC Asheville
THE TIP-OFF: Head Coach Buzz Peterson returns to his hometown and assistant Eddie Biedenbach travels back to the site of some of his greatest successes when UNCW visits UNCA today at Kimmel Arena. It will be the first game back from the Christmas break for both ball clubs.
THE COACHES: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson is in his 16th season with a 264-213 (.553) overall record and 39-66 (.371) mark in four seasons with the Seahawks. UNCA’s Nick McDevitt is in his first season as a head coach and owns a 4-7 (.364) mark after 11 games 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), Tanner Milson (6-2, 190, Sr., Guard), Shane Reybold (6-8, 238, Sr., Forward) and Cedrick Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., Forward). The probable starters for the Bulldogs includes Andrew Rousey (5-10, 170, Fr., Guard), David Robertson (6-3, 185, Fr., Guard), D.J. Cunningham (6-10, 250, Sr., Center), Jaron Lane (6-4, 185, Sr., Forward), Sam Hughes (6-4, 205, So., Forward).
JUMP BALL: UNCW returns to the hardwood today after a week-long layoff for the Christmas holiday. The Seahawks have not played since a 69-57 setback to former Colonial Athletic Association rival Old Dominion last Saturday in Wilmington.
WELCOME BACK: Both UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson and assistant coach Eddie Biedenbach have fond memories of Asheville. Peterson grew up just miles from campus and his father has been a loyal supporter of the Bulldog program through the years. Biedenbach coached 17 seasons at UNCA, of course, and took the Bulldogs to three NCAA Tournaments.
THE SERIES: UNCW and UNCA are squaring off for the 24th time. The Seahawks have dominated the series recently, winning 11 straight over the Bulldogs dating back to Jan. 20, 1975. The Bulldogs have struggled to score against the Seahawks, averaging just 52.7 ppg over the last seven matchups.
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: UNC Asheville shook off a sluggish start to post its third straight victory last Friday with an 83-58 romp over NAIA member Virginia Intermont at the Kimmel Center in Asheville. The Bulldogs committed a season-high 20 turnovers, but Andrew Rowsey poured in 19 of his team-high 22 points in the second half to key the rout. D.J. Cunningham finished with his third double-double of the season with 13 and 14 rebounds and Corey Littlejohn came off the bench and narrowly missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds.
LAST MATCHUP: In the last matchup between the two teams, Cedrick Williams posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds as UNCW clipped UNC Asheville, 67-59, on Nov. 11, 2012, in the season opener for the Seahawks at Trask Coliseum. Keith Rendleman added 14 points and Tyree Graham chipped in 12 points for the Seahawks, who shot just 39 percent and commit 21 turnovers. Jeremy Atkinson had 17 points for UNCA, which made only 34.5 percent from the floor.
FACING THE BIG SOUTH: The Seahawks are playing their 196th game against the Big South Conference today. UNCW stands 115-80 lifetime against BSC opponents. UNCW has played eight of the league’s 11 institutions.
BENCH POWER: Chicago native Luke Hager scored 10 points off the bench in last Saturday’s loss to ODU. Overall, 10 players have reached double digits off the bench this season. The ODU contest marked the fifth consecutive game that a player has scored in double figures off the bench for the Seahawks.
NEW HAUNT: UNCW is making its first appearance in 3,200-seat Kimmel Arena. It’s also Buzz Peterson’s first game in the arena. UNCA, meanwhile, stands 28-6 all-time at Kimmel Arena.
HEADED TO THE MOUNTAINS: The Seahawks are 6-4 in 10 games in Asheville and have taken four in a row on UNCA’s home floor. Today is UNCW’s first game in Asheville since Nov. 27, 2004.
AFTERNOON DELIGHT: The Seahawks are playing their sixth day game of the season and bring a 1-4 record in afternoon games into the contest. Overall, Buzz Peterson is 11-16 in afternoon tilts during his time at UNCW.
FREE THROW FIZZLES: The Seahawks opened the season as one of the CAA’s top free throw shooting teams with a 71.1 percentage on 128-of-180 after eight games. In the last five contests, however, UNCW has connected on just 60.4 percent on 67-of-111, including five straight games under 70 percent.
WINS VS. LOSSES: The Seahawks have shot 45.3 percent and averaging 76.3 in their six wins this season. In their seven losses, the team has shot 38.2 percent and collected only 60.1 points per outing.
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: ESPN Full Court; Internet: ESPN3.com (http://es.pn/MBK-UNCWvsUNCA); Radio: Sunny 104.5 FM-Wilmington, N.C.
NEXT UP: The Seahawks play their final game of the calendar year and last non-conference contest on Tuesday when they travel to Chapel Hill to battle North Carolina in a 5 p.m. New Year’s Eve bash at the Dean Smith Center.