The Blue Hens improved to 9-8 overall and evened their conference record at 2-2 after beating the Seahawks for the second time in a nine-day span. The Seahawks dipped to 4-12 in all games and 1-3 in the CAA.
The Blue Hens, who lost by 35 points at home to William & Mary on Friday, bounced back by shooting 58.6 percent to bring their home ledger to 4-4 at the midway point of the season.
Daly, the 2017 CAA Rookie-of-the-Year, led all scorers in the contest on 11-of-19 shooting and was complemented by freshman guard Ryan Allen with 23 points, senior guard Anthony Mosley with 17 and junior Eric Carter with 13.
Junior forward Devontae Cacok paced five Seahawks in double figures with 18 points and registered his 12th double-double of the season and 25th of his career with 11 rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Ty Taylor collected 17 points, senior guard Jordon Talley had 16, freshman guard Jay Estime scored 11 and sophomore guard Fornes finished with 10.
“The shots didn’t fall for us today,” said C.B. McGrath, UNCW’s head coach. “There’s no secret Daly’s their best player. You have to give them credit…they did what they had to do to get the win.”
Playing exactly one year to the day from last year’s matchup in Newark, the two clubs hooked up in sub-freezing temperatures at the Bob and the Blue Hens pulled away from the Seahawks in the second half to snap a two-game losing streak.
UD inched out to a 46-40 halftime lead and came out of the locker room on fire, draining 10 of its first 11 field goal attempts after the break and leading by as many as 23 points in the final period.
The Blue Hens scored on their first six possessions of the second half and used a 10-0 spurt to jump ahead, 65-51 with just over 16 minutes remaining. UD made its first eight field goal attempts of the last half, including all three triple attempts.
UNCW whittled the margin down to 10 points, 71-61, on a puback by Cacok at 12:08, but the Blue Hens poured it on behind Daly and Allen, making 19-of-32 field goals in the final half for the conference win.
The Seahawks started quickly on the Blue Hens, connecting on six of their first nine field goal attempts, and led 17-9 with 13:37 left in the first period following a pair of free throws by Cacok.
UNCW maintained the lead until the Blue Hens capitalized on foul trouble by Cacok and Talley to capture the lead. Talley picked up his second personal with 13:02 left in the first half and Cacok was tagged with his second foul three minutes later, sending both players to the sidelines.
With Talley and Cacok on the bench, the Blue Hens used an 18-3 run to build a 14-point cushion. Allen capped the spurt with a three-pointer on the left wing with just over three minutes left as the Blue Hens grabbed control.
McGrath inserted Talley back into the lineup and the senior from Richmond, Va., responded, scoring the final 10 points of the half for the Seahawks to help pull UNCW within 46-40 at intermission.
The Seahawks conclude a three-game CAA road swing on Thursday by visiting Elon for a 7 p.m. tip-off. It will be their final appearance in cozy Alumni Gym before the Phoenix move into the Schar Center next season.
UNCW’s next home game is on Saturday, Jan. 13, when Northeastern visits Trask Coliseum at 7 p.m. It will be the Navy color series game, with students receiving free T-shirts. Fans are also encouraged to wear navy apparel to the contest.
Delaware closes out a three-game homestand on Thursday when the Blue Hens host rival Drexel at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: UNCW leads the all-time series by a 23-13 margin…The Blue Hens are 4-4 at home this season…UD snapped a two-game skid…The Seahawks are 6-9 in 15 appearances at the Bob Carpenter Center…The Seahawks have dropped eight of the last 10 meetings in Newark…Marcus Bryan had nine rebounds for UNCW, which owned a 36-33 edge on the boards…The Seahawks shot 44.8 percent in the first half and 38.2 percent in the second period…UNCW went 1-for-13 from deep in the final period…UD outscored UNCW, 50-36, in the last half…Three players fouled out of the contest (Johnson and Walker for UD and Fornes for UNCW)…The Seahawks went 18-for-23 at the free throw line for 78.3 percent.