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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bob Carpenter Center (5,000) -- Newark, Delaware. Television: CSN-MA, PHI, NE, CAA-TV. Home Record: UNCW 3-6, Delaware 6-1. Away Record: UNCW 3-9, Delaware 8-6. Neutral Record: UNCW 0-0, Delaware 1-0. Conference Record: UNCW 0-6, Delaware 7-0. Series Record: UNC Wilmington leads, 16-8.
GAME NOTES: The two teams at opposite ends of the Colonial Athletic Association standings get together at the Bob Carpenter Center this afternoon, as the streaking Delaware Blue Hens host the slumping Seahawks of UNC Wilmington.
Delaware, which was recently dealt a major blow with the suspensions of Jarvis Threatt and Marvin King-Davis, managed to get beyond that shakeup on Wednesday night with an 89-72 victory over William & Mary on the road. The triumph was the ninth in a row for the program and kept it undefeated in league play at 7-0.
As for the Seahawks, they are the polar opposite of Delaware at the moment, having yet to post a CAA win in 2013-14. Not only has UNCW come up empty in conference play, the squad has now gone almost two months since posting a victory of any kind. Since defeating Campbell (69-50) on Dec. 3, the Seahawks have watched their skid reach 10 games, following a 75-70 setback versus the College of Charleston on Jan. 22.
While the Hens may be the cream of the crop in the CAA so far this season, the fact remains that the team is trailing UNCW in the all-time series by a count of 16-8. The squads are slated to close out the month against each other in North Carolina.
Against Charleston the Seahawks shot an impressive 60.0 percent from the field in the second half, but that was only after hitting just 34.8 percent in the opening 20 minutes. Cedrick Williams and Chris Dixon led the offensive charge for the group with 22 and 21 points, respectively, combining to shoot 15-of-22 from the field and 5-of-6 behind the 3-point line in the losing effort.
Producing 65.0 ppg over the course of 21 games, the Seahawks have only two players scoring in double figures at the moment. Williams is responsible for 14.2 ppg and is also tops with 7.1 rpg and 37 blocked shots, but for someone who seems to have his hands on the ball so much, Williams has but 16 assists in 20 starts. Addison Spruill checks in with another 10.0 ppg, but he is shooting only 34.3 percent from the floor and a dismal 21.3 percent behind the 3-point line.
Even as they juggled the lineup due to the recent suspensions, the Blue Hens had little trouble handling William & Mary at Kaplan Arena a few nights back. Davon Usher erupted for 28 points and pulled down nine rebounds, hitting an impressive 6-of-9 shots beyond the arc in the triumph. Carl Baptiste added 23 points, Devon Saddler 19 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals, while Kyle Anderson registered a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards for the visitors.
Without Threatt the Hens are having to make up for 17.9 ppg and fill the void left by the top assist man who has handed out 107 over the course of 20 outings. Saddler (21.7 ppg), Usher (17.8 ppg), Anderson (11.8 ppg) and Baptiste (10.5 ppg) are all capable of expanding their roles, but beyond the core group Delaware packs very little punch even as it generates 81.5 ppg, but gives up 77.4 ppg.
As a team, UNCW is converting perimeter shots at a miserable 25.0 percent clip, averaging less than four 3-pointers per contest, so should the Seahawks fall behind today on the road, the chances of them battling back is slim to none.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Delaware 85, UNC Wilmington 67
02/01 10:17:47 ET
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