WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Sophomore forward Cedrick Williams scored 15 points and grabbed
13 rebounds to power UNCW past visiting UNC Asheville, 67-59, in the
men's basketball season opener for the Seahawks Sunday at Trask Coliseum. It
was UNCW's 11th straight victory over UNCA.
Seahawks, who opened at home for the first time in four seasons, take the road
for their next three contests, beginning Tuesday with a 7 p.m. test at former
Colonial Athletic Association rival Richmond. The Bulldogs now stand 1-1 after
opening the campaign with a win over Western Carolina Friday night.
out of Murfreesboro, Tenn., led three Seahawks in double figures with his
total. Senior forward Keith Rendleman added 14 points and nine rebounds and newcomer
Tyree Graham chipped in 12 points off the bench. For Williams, it was his first
forward Jeremy Atkinson poured in a game-high 17 points for the Bulldogs, who
shot just 34.5 percent from the field, including 2-for-17 from behind the
3-point line. D.J. Cunningham and Trent Meyer both collected 11 points for
In a back
and forth home opener for the Seahawks, no more than six points separated the
two teams and the contest still hung in the balance until sparks began to fly
with 2:24 remaining.
Seahawks ahead, 56-55, Rendleman was fouled on a field goal attempt and
Cunningham was tagged with a technical foul after the play. Rendleman made both
of his free throws to push the lead to 58-48 and Tanner Milson sank both of the
technical free throws to extend the margin to 60-55.
ensuing possession, the Bulldogs missed an attempt and Graham tacked on a
three-pointer on the other end of the court to give the Seahawks a 63-55
cushion with 1:40 on the clock. UNCA could get no closer than six points the
rest of the way.
battling to a 27-all draw in the first 20 minutes, UNCW used a thunderous dunk
by Williams and a bank shot in the paint by Luke Hager to build a 36-31 lead at
15:16. But Rendleman picked up his fourth personal four at 13:05 and Atkinson
drained a long three in front of the UNCA bench to tie the game at 37-all with
a seven-point outburst to get the score back to 50-45, but Williams scored a
bucket inside and added both ends of a bonus situation to slice the lead back
to 50-49 with just under six minutes showing. The two teams traded buckets
before the Seahawks broke away late.
came out frosty in the early going, combining for 8-of-24 shooting, before the
Seahawks inched out to a 13-8 margin. Williams followed up his own shot in the
lane with 10:21 to go in the first period to give the Seahawks an early
to grab the lead, however, with a 10-2 spurt over the next four minutes.
Cunningham did most of the damage, scoring six points in the run, and a floater
in the lane by reserve forward Will Weeks gave the Bulldogs an 18-15 edge with
6:35 remaining in the first period.
UNCW still trailed by six points with 2:39 left in the first half until
back-to-back triples by Dylan Sherwood and Graham and another baseline jumper
by Sherwood pulled the Seahawks even at the break.
NOTES: The Seahawks shot 39.0 percent from the field and 71.4 percent at the
free throw line...It was Buzz Peterson's first season-opening win in three tries
at UNCW...The two teams combined for 43 turnovers...Rendleman fouled out with 48
seconds remaining...UNCW pushed its series advantage to 15-8 over UNCA...Buzz
Peterson is now 9-6 lifetime in season openers...The Seahawks stand 114-78
against the Big South Conference...Tyree Graham, Luke Hager and Chris Dixon each
made their debuts at Trask Coliseum