Battle In The Blue Ridge Tournament Schedule
Nov. 23-25, 2018 | U.S. Cellular Center | Asheville, N.C.
Friday, November 23, 2018
Gardner-Webb vs. Eastern Illinois, 5:00pm
UNCW vs. Arkansas State, 7:30pm
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Eastern Illinois vs. Arkansas State, 5:00pm
UNCW vs. Gardner-Webb, 7:30pm
Sunday, November 25, 2018
UNCW vs. Eastern Illinois, 1:00pm
Gardner-Webb vs. Arkansas State, 3:30pm
UNCW Notes | Arkansas State Notes | Gardner-Webb Notes | Eastern Illinois Notes
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – With its first victory of the season in hand, the UNCW men’s basketball team crisscrosses the state this week to participate in the VisitCurrituckOBX.com Battle In The Blue Ridge at the U.S. Cellular Arena in Asheville.
The Seahawks, 1-3, take on Arkansas State (Friday|7:30 p.m.), Gardner-Webb (Saturday|7:30 p.m.) and Eastern Illinois (Sunday|1 p.m.) on successive days in the 7,654 seat venue. It’s the debut of the event and the lone in-season tournament of the year for the Seahawks.
UNCW is coming off a 113-74 throttling of NAIA member Allen last Sunday at Trask Coliseum. Senior forward Devontae Cacok set a school record with 26 rebounds and sophomore guard Ty Gadsden exploded for a game-high 26 points in the rout.
The Seahawks are closing out a busy first month of the season. Following a pair of exhibition games vs. Clemson and William Peace, Coach C.B. McGrath’s club dropped a tight 97-93 overtime decision on the road to Campbell in the season opener before falling to Pac-12 power Stanford and Southern Conference defending champion UNC Greensboro. The Seahawks bounced back with last Sunday’s rout of the undermanned Yellow Jackets.
“There’s going to be some good competition in Asheville,” said McGrath. “You have much time to get prepared when you have three games in three days. It’s going to be a good opportunity for our guys to play through some things.”
The Seahawks feature four players scoring in double figures, topped by Cacok’s eye-popping double-double averages of 18.5 points and 15.8 rebounds. Redshirt junior forward Jeantal Cylla (11.0), redshirt junior guard Ty Taylor (10.8) and junior guard Jaylen Fornes (10.5) give the Seahawks a well-rounded offensive attack.
As a team, the Seahawks are shooting 44.1 percent from the floor, 35.0 percent behind the arc and an outstanding 74.3 percent at the free throw line.
Live Seahawk Digital Network (SDN) coverage of the UNCW-UNCG contest starts at 7:15 p.m. with Mike Vaccaro, the “Voice of the Seahawks,” providing 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.
NICE TO MEET YOU: The Seahawks have not faced any of this week’s three opponents previously.
TOURNAMENT SCORECARD: The Seahawks are 89-84 (.514) lifetime in tournament action and 50-45 (.526) in in-season tournaments. The Seahawks have lost four straight in-season tournament games after dropping a pair of games last season at the Savannah Invitational and Sun Bowl Invitational.
FOUR SQUARE: The Seahawks have featured four different leading scorers in the first four games of the season. Devontae Cacok (UNCG-19 pts.), Jental Cylla (Stanford-14 pts.), Ty Taylor (Campbel-29 pts.) and Ty Gadsden (Allen-26 pts.) have each paced the team in scoring this season.
ASHEVILLE BOUND: While the Seahawks are making their first appearance at U.S. Cellular Arena (formerly the Asheville Civic Center Complex), it’s not the team’s first trip to the mountains. UNCW is playing for the 12th time in Asheville since the 1964 season and owns a 4-7 record in the city.
CACOK PASSES PONDER: With 22 points last Sunday, senior forward Devontae Cacok leapfrogged current A-State graduate assistant coach Craig Ponder into 13th on UNCW’s all-time scoring list. Cacok has now scored 1,167 points in 100 appearances.
REBOUND MACHINE: Rebounding machine Devontae Cacok has picked up where he left off in the weekly CAA stats. He leads the loop in rebounds per game (15.8), offensive rebounds (5.8) and defensive rebounds (10.0).
IN-SEASON TOURNEY RECORD: The Seahawks have won 11 in-season tournaments through the years. UNCW’s last championship came in their own Nations of Coaches Invitational in 2012.
HEY, WE KNOW THESE GUYS: Two familiar faces will be on the Arkansas State bench on Friday night. A-State assistant coach Casey Stanley served on Kevin Keatts’ staff at UNCW for three seasons from 2015-17 and played a key role in bringing two CAA championships to the Port City. Craig Ponder, a graduate assistant for the Red Wolves, enjoyed an outstanding career for the Seahawks, making 130 appearances and scoring 1,160 points. That ranks the West Virginia native 14th in Seahawk history.
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 (UNCW Men’s Basketball), Twitter (@UNCWmenshoops), Instagram (UNCWBasketball).