WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Coach C.B. McGrath and the UNCW men’s basketball team head back on the Colonial Athletic Association trail this week with a pair of challenging road games in the frigid Northeast.
UNCW (7-11, 3-2) takes on Hofstra (15-3, 5-0) in the first leg of the journey on Thursday night in Hempstead, N.Y. The Seahawks and Pride are meeting for the 41st time since Hofstra joined the CAA in the 2001-02 season.
Live Seahawk Digital Network (SDN) coverage of Thursday’s contest begins at 6:45 p.m. from Hempstead, N.Y., with Mike Vaccaro, the “Voice of the Seahawks,” on the call. Visit UNCWsports.com/SDN for live audio and video coverage.
A radio broadcast of the game may be heard on 95.9 FM “The Breeze” | WKXB HD 2 – 95.9 FM and 99.9 HD2 and live stats are available at UNCWStats.com.
Following the matchup with the Pride, the Seahawks move up to Boston for a 4 p.m. Saturday game with Northeastern (9-8, 3-2) at historic Matthews Arena.
“Both teams this weekend are great teams,” said C.B. McGrath, UNCW’s second-year head coach. “They have great coaches and rosters with a lot of experience on them. Hofstra’s had a couple close games and has made the plays at the end. They haven’t let any opportunities slip by.
“Going on the road is never easy. It’s a daunting task, but our guys are looking forward to it. We made the plays we needed to at JMU and Towson and hopefully that confidence will continue.”
The Seahawks are seeking for their third straight road victory after notching pair of wins at JMU and Towson two weeks ago.
In its last appearance, UNCW outscored Drexel by 16 points in the second half and senior forward Devontae Cacok became UNCW’s career rebound leader in a convincing 97-83 victory over Drexel on Saturday at Trask Coliseum. Cacok, one three players with 20+ points, finished with his fifth straight double-double (24 points | 12 rebounds) as the Seahawks shot 50 percent from the floor and scored 54 points off the bench in posting their first conference home win of the campaign.
Cacok, from Riverdale, Ga., continues to stand out in the NCAA’s weekly stats. He leads the nation in double-doubles, ranks second in total rebounds and stands fifth in rebounds per game and offensive rebounds per game.
Cacok appears in his 115th game for the Seahawks on Thursday and his UNCW career numbers are impressive. He has scored 1,362 points (7th all-time) and snared 1,067 rebounds (1st all-time) with 47 double-doubles (2nd all-time). He has shot 65.3 percent from the floor, blocked 80 shots and snagged 97 steals over the last four seasons.
Picked to finish third in the CAA race, Hofstra is off to a torrid start, carrying a 12-game winning streak into the contest. The Pride sits alone atop the CAA race and has not been beaten in 10 outings at the Mack Sports Complex this season. Powered by senior shooting guard Justin Wright-Foreman, who has reached double figures in 71 straight games, the Pride features the CAA’s top scoring offense (81.9 ppg).
Wright-Foreman, the nation’s third leading scorer at 26.9 points per game, has been named or shared the CAA’s Player-of-the-Week honor five times this season. He is shooting a robust 50.3 percent from the floor and 87.0 percent at the free throw line. He’s also been deadly behind the arc, converting 51-of-128 treys for 39.8 percent.
“Justin Wright-Foreman has supreme confidence,” McGrath continued, “and everyone on his team knows he’s going to make a play at the end if they need it.”
In the last clash of the two teams, UNCW playmaker Jordon Talley matched the best individual performance in conference tournament history with 37 points to lift No. 6 UNCW past No. 3 Hofstra, 93-88, in the final quarterfinal game of the 2018 CAA Championship on March 5, 2018, at the North Charleston Coliseum. The crafty Talley equaled the tournament scoring record set by William & Mary’s Marcus Thornton in the 2015 semifinals against Hofstra.
THE SERIES: UNCW and HU lock horns for the 41st time since Hofstra joined the CAA. The Seahawks own a slim 21-19 edge in the series.
ON THE HORIZON: The Seahawks have just 13 games remaining in the regular season – six at home and seven on the road. UNCW plays five of its final seven games away from Trask Coliseum.
SEAHAWKS VS. MIHALICH: UNCW stands 7-6 against Hofstra skipper Joe Mihalich since he took over the Pride program six years ago. The Seahawks have taken five of the last six meetings between the two clubs. Ironically, both teams have scored a total of 966 points in the 13 matchups
KAI TIME: Freshman point guard Kai Toews continues to enjoy an outstanding rookie season. He ranks third among all NCAA Division I players with 7.9 assists per game, trailing only Ja Morant of Murray State (10.7) and Alex Robinson of TCU (8.1). The Tokyo native has registered four double-doubles this season.
NEXT UP: Following Thursday’s tilt, the Seahawks shoot up to Boston for a noon matchup on Saturday against Northeastern at historic Matthews Arena.
EVERYTHING SEAHAWKS: For more information on the UNCW men’s basketball team, visit UNCWsports.com and click on the men’s basketball button. Additional information is also available on UNCW’s social media channels: Facebook (UNC