Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 | 7 p.m. | Greensboro Coliseum (23,000) | Greensboro, N.C.
|2017-18 Record: 2-5||2017-18 Record: 6-3|
|Last Game: l. at LSU, 97-84, 12-10-17||Last Game: w vs. Elon, 75-44, 12-07-17|
|Head Coach: C.B. McGrath (1st Season)||Head Coach: Wes Miller (7th Season)|
|Roster | Schedule-Results | Statistics | Website||Roster | Schedule-Results | Statistics | Website|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW men’s basketball team heads back to North Carolina soil on Wednesday to take on Southern Conference member UNC Greensboro in the fifth of eight games against state opponents in 2017-18.
The Seahawks, 2-5, and Spartans, 6-3, tip off at 7 p.m. at the venerable Greensboro Coliseum as the non-conference slate hits mid-December.
“UNCG is playing good basketball right now,” said C.B. MCGrath, UNCW’s first-year coach. “We saw them in the jamboree and they’re a very good team. We just need to get more stops defensively and pay more attention to the little things.”
UNCW has dropped four consecutive contests since an 88-84 decision over Campbell on Nov. 18 and is coming off a 97-84 loss at LSU on Sunday. The Seahawks trailed early to the Tigers, but battled back late in the second half before falling to the SEC hosts.
Junior forward Devontae Cacok (Alpharetta HS/Riverdale, Ga.) continues to enjoy a solid junior season. He leads the Colonial Athletic Association in double-doubles with five and is tied for seventh in scoring (18.0) ppg), ranks first in rebounding (11.7 rpg) and stands second in field goal percentage (.630). He also ranks fourth in the nation in rebounding with behind Jessie Govan, Georgetown, 13.0; James Thompson IV, Eastern Michigan, 12.9; Jordan Murphy, Minnesota, 12.5; and Deandre Ayton, Arizona, 11.9.
Two Seahawks return to their home areas on Wednesday. Senior guard Nick Powell enjoyed a solid career at N.W. Guilford High School and redshirt junior guard JaQuel Richmond, who now lives in nearby Mebane, N.C., played at Wesleyan Christian School before suiting up at Middle Tennessee State and joining the Seahawks.
Wednesday’s contest concludes a string of five straight games away from Trask Coliseum for the Seahawks, who are searching for their first win on the road under McGrath. Overall, UNCW tackles seven games away from home in 28 days.
The Seahawks and Spartans have split six games in the series, but UNCW has won the last two matchups, including an 84-72 decision in the last meeting at the 23,000-seat venue on Nov. 18, 2014.
The two teams are seeing each other for the second time this year. UNCW and UNCG participated in the Disaster Relief Benefit back on Nov. 5 in Chapel Hill. McGrath’s club survived a last-second shot by Justin Jordan to hold on for a 19-16 victory in the second of six scrimmages on the day. UNCW shot 50 percent, canning 9-of-18 shots, and outrebounded UNCG, 12-10, with Cacok collecting eight points and six boards.
The Seahawks are making their fourth appearance at the coliseum and stand 2-1 in the arena, losing to George Washington in the first-round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament and defeating Wake Forest, 81-69, on Dec. 12, 2010, and UNCG in 2014.
UNCG and seventh-year head coach Wes Miller carry a 6-3 record into the game after crushing CAA member Elon, 75-44, last Thursday at home. The Spartans raced to a 35-19 halftime cushion and shot 53.4 percent from the floor in the impressive win over the Phoenix.
The Seahawks have played eight of the current 10 members of the Southern Conference and compiled a 21-16 record against the group. UNCW has won eight in a row over SoCon opponents. UNCW’s last game vs. a current SoCon member came on Nov. 20, 2016, when the Seahawks trimmed East Tennessee State, 68-59, at Trask Coliseum. UNCW’s last loss to a SoCon foe came in the 2009-10 season opener when Buzz Peterson’s team dropped a 79-68 verdict at Appalachian State on Nov. 13, 2009.
Live Seahawk Digital Network (SDN) coverage of the UNCW-UNCG contest begins at 6:45 p.m. with Mike Vaccaro, the “Voice of the Seahawks,” providing the call. Visit UNCWsports.com/SDN for live audio coverage. In addition, a radio broadcast of the game can be heard on “The Ticket” 95.9 FM and WKXB (99.9 FM-HD3).
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 (UNCW Men’s Basketball), Twitter (@UN