One of the state’s most intense rivalries resumes Tuesday night when the UNCW men’s basketball team entertains East Carolina in the 66th meeting between the eastern North Carolina schools.
The Seahawks (3-4) and Pirates (4-3) will tip off at 7 p.m. in the “Blue Out” segment of the new Color Series games at Trask Coliseum. The contest, the fourth in five days for C.B. McGrath’s club, kicks off a two-game mini-homestand for the Seahawks that wraps up with Davidson at home on Saturday.
Live Seahawk Digital Network (SDN) coverage of the UNCW-ECU contest starts at 6:45 p.m. with Mike Vaccaro, the “Voice of the Seahawks,” and color analyst Marty Feurer 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.
“It’s big,” McGrath said matter-of-factly “It’s always been a rivalry. They’re playing better and starting to figure each other out, too. They’re long, athletic and really active.”
UNCW is coming off an appearance in the VisitCurrituckOBX.com Battle In The Blue Ridge over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The Seahawks went 2-1 with bookend wins in the round robin event, defeating Arkansas State (78-64) and Eastern Illinois (82-65) and falling to Gardner-Webb (81-72).
Senior forward Devontae Cacok averaged 14.3 pints and 8.7 rebounds in the three contests, while junior forward Jeantal Cylla collected 13.3 and freshman playmaker Kai Toews collected 11.3 points and 7.7 assists over the three days at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville. In his first season with the club, Toews dished out 14 assists in Sunday’s game vs. Eastern Illinois, one shy of the school record.
Cacok, the nation’s leading rebounder in 2017-18, has ascended back to the top of the nation’s statistical leaders. He leads the NCAA Division I ranks again with 12.7 rebounds per game to complement 16.7 points each outing. Cylla is the only other player averaging in double figures with 12.0 ppg.
The Seahawks are playing their final game in the month of November and have six games before breaking for the Christmas holiday.
UP CLOSE IN THE SERIES: The Seahawks lead the all-time series, 36-29, and have won nine of the last 10 matchups. UNCW also owns a 22-7 record vs ECU in Wilmington
HOME COOKING: UNCW is 1-2 at home this season following losses to Stanford and UNCG and a win over Allen. The Seahawks are 43-11 on their home floor over the last four years and C.B. McGrath stands 9-7 on his home court in two seasons.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: UNCW’s 2017-18 team champions and individual NCAA participants will be honored at halftime of Tuesday night’s game.
DOOLEY SIGHTING: Tuesday will not be the first time ECU’s Joe Dooley has faced the Seahawks in Trask. The veteran coach played the Seahawks six times during his previous stop in Greenville and stands 2-6 vs. UNCW, including 0-4 in Trask Coliseum.
CAA VS. AAC: The game is the third this season between the Colonial Athletic Association and American Athletic Conference. The CAA is 2-0 vs. the AAC following victories by James Madison (vs. ECU) and the College of Charleston (vs. Memphis).
NEXT UP: The Seahawks continue their North Carolina flavored schedule on Saturday when Davidson pays a visit to Trask Coliseum for a 7 p.m. clash.
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).