GAME NOTES: The Seahawks of UNC Wilmington try to avoid another three-game slide as they take the floor at Trask Coliseum on Wednesday night against Colonial Athletic Association foe William & Mary.
The Seahawks, who have just two wins in the last month of action, were handed a 79-78 setback by Delaware on Saturday night at home, which means the group has now bowed in back-to-back outings and four of the last five overall. With a record of 5-11 in conference play, UNCW is ninth in the CAA standings at the moment.
Meanwhile, just ahead of the Seahawks in the league is William & Mary with six wins in 16 chances. Also on the hardwood over the weekend, the Tribe suffered a 60-58 loss at George Mason, snapping a three-game win streak in the process.
The Tribe won the first meeting of the season two weeks ago with a 92-86 final at home, which means the all-time series now favors UNCW by a count of 40-20.
W&M led by as many as 13 points in the second half against the Patriots over the weekend on the road, but the visitors could not keep up the momentum as they ended up losing at the last second on a jumper by Erik Copes. Marcus Thornton gave the Tribe some hope as he scored a game-high 22 points, shooting 6-of-12 from 3-point range, followed by Tim Rusthoven with another 10 points for a squad that shot just 37.5 percent from the floor and 11-of-20 at the free-throw line.
Thornton, the leading scorer for the program in three of the last four outings, is responsible for 18.6 ppg this season thanks to his impressive 43.6 percent accuracy beyond the arc where he has connected on 85 of the program's 202 makes. While Thornton, tied for the team lead with 75 assists through 27 games. stands as the primary perimeter threat, Rusthoven is the one in the paint who is stepping forward with 7.3 rpg, to go along with 14.1 ppg.
In a game that featured 12 ties and just four lead changes, the Seahawks trailed for the majority of the meeting with Delaware, although the hosts did pull ahead by two points with about 11 minutes remaining in regulation. UNCW, which had a couple of opportunities to grab the win in the final minute but failed to do so, had four starters score in double figures, led by Keith Rendleman with 26 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out. Chris Dixon added a double-double as well with 12 points and 11 assists, followed by Cedrick Williams and Freddie Jackson with 11 points apiece.
Shooting just 7-of-18 at the charity stripe versus the Blue Hens, free-throw shooting has been an issue for the program all season long as they hit on just 65.0 percent of their opportunities. Having now failed on close to 200 chances at the stripe, it is no wonder that the Seahawks are scoring just 63.6 ppg through 28 contests. Rendleman is averaging a double-double with 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest while doing everything he can to keep the team afloat.
Certainly the Seahawks have revenge as an incentive for this meeting, but at the same time W&M proved to itself it could conquer UNCW so why not again on the road this week.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: William & Mary 66, UNC Wilmington 62
02/27 10:32:55 ET
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