|Seahawks VIsit Old Foe, CAA Newbie CofC|
UNCW Vs. College of Charleston
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 – 7 p.m.
TD Arena (5,200) – Charleston, S.C.
THE TIP-OFF: The UNCW men’s basketball team renews its rivarlry with the College of Charleston, but this time with a twist - as CAA members. The two regional rivals are playing for the first time since 2008 when the Seahawks and Cougars get together as conference foes.
THE COACHES: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson is in his 16th season with a 264-220 (.545) overall record, including a 39-73 (.348) mark in four seasons with the Seahawks. The College of Charleston’s Doug Wojcik owns a 174-112 (.608) record in nine years as a head coach and is 34-20 (.629) in two seasons with the Cougars.
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 Cougars are Nori Johnson (6-5, 209, Sr., Guard), Anthony Stitt (6-1, 180, Jr., Guard), Willis Hall (6-6, 235, Sr., Forward), Anthony Thomas (6-7, 207, Sr., Forward) and Adjehi Baru (6-9, 225, Jr., Forward).
WELCOME TO THE CAA: UNCW looks to shake out of a nine-game slumber tonight when the Seahawks travel to the Low Country to take on old foe and new CAA member College of Charleston. The Seahawks have not won a game since a 69-50 triumph over Campbell on Dec. 3, 2012.
NINE LIVES: The Seahawks have dropped nine consecutive games for the first time since 2008-09 when the Seahawks suffered a string of 10 straight defeats from Nov. 29, 2008, to Jan. 7, 2009.
THE SERIES: Tonight is the first meeting between the two regional rivals since Dec. 19, 2008. The College of Charleston leads the all-time series, 9-4, and has won five of the last six matchups. CofC has won three in a row in Charleston. UNCW’s last road win against the Cougars came on Dec. 23, 2002.
ABOUT THE DRAGONS: CAA preseason favorite Towson broke open a close game with a 9-0 run late to cruise past the College of Charleston, 72-57, in a Sunday matchup at TD Arena. Reigning CAA Player-of-the-Year Jerrelle Benimon anchored four players in double figures with 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Tigers pulled away after leading, 31-29, at halftime. Graduate forward Willis Hall had 20 points and 12 rebounds of his own for the Cougars, who shot just 29.4 percent in the second half.
LAST MATCHUP: In the last game between the two teams on Dec. 19, 2008, sophomore guard Andrew Goudelock scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half as the College of Charleston rocketed past UNCW, 100-80, at Carolina First Arena. The Cougars shot 57.6 percent in the second half, including 14-of-29 from long distance, to win their eighth consecutive game.
BUZZ VS. CofC: Buzz Peterson is facing the College of Charleston for the eighth time in his career and stands 2-5 against the Cougars. He is battling CofC for the first time as UNCW’s coach tonight.
SEAHAWKS VS. PALMETTO STATE: The College of Charleston is one of two opponents this season from South Carolina. The Seahawks own a 45-35 record against 10 teams from the state of South Carolina through the years. Coach Buzz Peterson has played 15 opponents from the state of South Carolina during his career and fashioned a 41-21 record.
HOMECOMING FOR BEN: Graduate point guard Ben Eblen of UNCW returns to the area. The Alabama transfer calls Isle of Palms home, but attended Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Fla., where he led the team to a 25-1 record during the 2008-09 season.
FAMILIAR VENUE: While tonight is the first time the Seahawks have faced CofC at TD Arena, it’s not the first time UNCW has played in the venue. UNCW competed in the Charleston Classic in November of 2009 and went 2-1 in the exempt event, defeating Penn State (80-69) and losing to Miami (67-60) and South Florida (74-66).
ANCHORS AWEIGH: CofC’s Doug Wojcik knows UNCW well. He started eight games for Navy against the Seahawks in the late 1980s and averaged 5.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists in compiling a perfect 8-0 record against UNCW, including a pair of close wins in the semifinals (1986) and championship (1987) of the CAA Tournament in Hampton, Va.
TULSA TIES: Tonight’s two coaches, UNCW’s Buzz Peterson and CofC’s Doug Wojcik, both spent time at Tulsa. Peterson piloted the Golden Hurricane to a 26-11 record and the NIT championship in 2001. Wojcik spent seven seasons at Tulsa from 2005-12 and compiled a 140-92 record, with appearances in the NIT and CBI.
JANUARY JINX: The Seahawks are still seeking their first win in January. UNCW is 0-5 this month and 11-22 in Buzz Peterson’s four seasons in Wilmington.
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: Live on ComcastSportsSouth: Radio: Sunny 104.5 FM-Wilmington, N.C.
NEXT UP: Following tonight’s game, the Seahawks are idle until a home game next Wednesday, Jan. 29, vs. Towson. The Tigers topped the Seahawks, 60-53, on Jan. 11 in Maryland.