|Seahawks Tackle NU, Frigid Northeast|
UNCW Vs. Northeastern
THE TIP-OFF: UNCW visits frigid New England tonight to take on Northeastern for its first Colonial Athletic Association road game for the second straight year. The Seahawks are coming off a 60-55 home loss to James Madison last Saturday, while the Huskies are making their CAA debut following a 79-49 defeat at Vanderbilt.
THE COACHES: UNCW’s Buzz Peterson is in his 16th season with a 264-216 (.550) overall record and a 39-69 (.361) mark in four seasons with the Seahawks. Northeastern’s Bill Coen has been a head coach all eight seasons at NU with a 114-123 (.481) career record.
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), C.J. Gettys (7-0, 285, Fr., Center) and Cedrick Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., Forward). The probable starters for the Huskies includes T.J. Williams (6-3, 190, Fr., Guard), David Walker (6-6, 176, Soph., Guard), Demetrius Pollard (6-2, 200, Jr., Guard), Reggie Spencer (6-7, 210, Jr., Forward and Scott Eatherton (6-8, 219, R-Jr., Forward).
JUMP BALL: UNCW and Northeastern battle tonight in the second conference game of the season for the Seahawks and the league debut for the Huskies. Coach Buzz Peterson’s club is seeking to halt a five-game slide in Beantown as the team reaches the midway point in the season.
DOWNWARD SPIRAL: The Seahawks have dropped five consecutive games for the first time this year and the first time since ending the 2012-13 campaign with four consecutive losses and losing the first two games this year at Iowa and Iowa State. UNCW has not lost six games in a row in the same season since a six-game stretch from Feb. 8-25, 2012. During the five-game skid, the Seahawks have fallen by 5, 12, 14, 33 and 5 points for an average of 13.8 ppg. UNCW has not won in 36 days since a 69-50 smashing of Campbell on Dec. 3 at Trask Coliseum.
THE SERIES: Tonight is the 13th meeting between the Seahawks and Huskies. NU leads the series, 7-5, and has taken seven of the last 10 meetings between the two clubs
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: Northeastern suffered its third straight loss and ninth defeat in 10 outings in a 79-49 rout last Saturday at Vanderbilt. The Huskies trailed by 28 points at halftime in Nashville after the Commodores shot a blistering 76 percent en route to an insurmountable lead. It was NU’s worst loss since an 80-48 setback at Memphis on Dec. 31, 2008.
LAST MATCHUP: In the last game between UNCW and NU, senior forward Keity Rendleman collected a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds to power UNCW to a 73-67 upset of first place Northeastern on Feb. 16, 2013, at Trask Coliseum. The Seahawks shot 52 percent and made 10-of-14 free throws in the final 1:21 to gain a split in the regular season series with the 12-2 Huskies. Sophomore forward Cedrick Williams added 12 points and nine boards for UNCW. Quincy Ford paced NU with 23 points and nine boards in the Homecoming game for the Seahawks.
LAST GAME IN BOSTON: Senior guard Joel Smith poured in a game-high 23 points and Northeastern forced 18 turnovers to hold off pesky UNCW, 68-64, on Jan. 5, 2013, in the CAA home opener for the Huskies at Matthews Arena. Smith anchored three players in double figures for the Huskies, who avenged an eight-point home loss to UNCW the previous year. Junior guard Tanner Milson came off the bench to score 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the Seahawks.
SEAHAWKS AT MATTHEWS ARENA: UNCW stands 1-5 in six tries gainst Northeastern in Boston. The Seahawks picked up their lone victory at Matthews Arena on Jan. 4, 2012, with a 70-62 decision.
SEAHAWKS VS. COEN: UNCW owns a 3-7 record in 10 games against NU skipper Bill Coen, facing the veteran coach 6-of-10 times on his home floor in Boston.
SEAHAWKS VS. MASSACHUSETTS FOES: Northeastern is one of four opponents from Massachusetts the Seahawks have faced through the years. UNCW owns a 7-12 (.368) record against Massachusetts teams.
TENNESSEE WALTZ: While the Seahawks are winless in their last five games, junior forward Cedrick Williams has excelled. The Tennessean has averaged nearly a double-double of 14.2 ppg and 9.8 rpg, shooting 50 percent from the floor and 87.5 percent at the free throw line.
ROAD WARRIORS: UNCW won just one road game last season, but the Seahawks have reversed that trend this year, taking three games already away from home. The Seahawks have beaten Charleston Southern, Liberty and East Carolina on their floors this season.
WINS VS. LOSSES: The Seahawks have shot 45.3 percent and averaging 76.3 ppg in their six wins this season. In their 10 losses, the team has shot 37.2 percent and collected only 58.8 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; Internet: www.GoNU.com; Radio: Sunny 104.5 FM-Wilmington, N.C.
NEXT UP: The Seahawks complete a two-game road swing to the Northeast with a 2 p.m. matchup Saturday at Towson. It will be UNCW’s first appearance at TU’s new SECU Arena.