WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Junior forward Devontae Cacok racked up his 18th double-double of the season with 25 points and 16 rebounds and UNCW used a spirited defensive effort to throttle Hofstra, 90-70, in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball matchup on Saturday night at Trask Coliseum.
Men’s Basketball Vs. Hofstra
The Seahawks improved to 8-17 overall and 5-8 in the CAA after snapping a three-game losing streak. The Pride now stands 15-11 in all games and 8-6 in the league.
UNCW moved into sole possession of seventh place in the loop, just one game behind sixth place Elon. Hofstra sits alone in fourth place and is three games behind frontrunner Charleston.
“Our guys really competed tonight,” said UNCW Head Coach C.B. McGrath. “They stepped up and made plays. It was a fun night and they deserved it. We had the defensive energy, focus and execution. Overall, it was one of our best performances of the season.”
Cacok, a Preseason First-Team All-CAA selection, looked the part after anchoring five players in double figures for the Seahawks. The Riverdale, Ga., product converted his first 10 field goal attempts and finished 11-of-13 from the floor with eight offensive rebounds and eight defensive pulls.
Junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman, the CAA’s leading scorer and fourth highest scorer in the NCAA Division I ranks, paced the Pride with 15 points on just 6-of-17 from the floor. Senior center Rokas Gustys finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and junior guard Desure Buie wound up with 11 points.
The Seahawks, who had their Thursday game at James Madison postponed, returned to action following a week-long layoff and last played nine days ago against Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y. That outing resulted in a 20-point setback, 96-76, at the Mack Sports Complex on Long Island.
This time, the Seahawks reversed the score, using an all-around team effort to post the same 20-point difference in front of an appreciative sellout crowd assembled for Homecoming. UNCW held Hofstra to 31.3 percent shooting in the second half en route to their most lopsided win in the 17-games between the two clubs in Wilmington.
The Seahawks used a late spurt in the first half to grab a 42-37 edge at intermission and padded their lead to nine points early in the final period. A Talley jumper with 16:46 left pushed the Seahawks out front, 53-44.
UNCW was still ahead, 57-50, when the Seahawks scored six straight points to hike their lead to 63-50 on a free throw by Jacque Brown. The Seahawks then extended the margin to 73-58 when Estime’ drained a three-ball from the right corner following an assist by Talley with 9:27 left to play.
The Seahawks locked down their largest lead of the game with 33 seconds left to play when freshman guard Jeff Gary sank a pair of free throws in front of the UNCW bench.
The Seahawks scored the first two buckets of the game, but the Pride reeled off 10 unanswered points and a rare four-point play by Buie gave Hofstra a 10-4 edge with 16:38 left in the opening period.
The two teams jockeyed back and forth the next nine minutes before the Seahawks pieced together a 7-0 mini-run on buckets by Cacok, Bryan and Taylor. A triple by Taylor in the left corner put the Seahawks on top, 28-25, with just over seven minutes remaining in the opening period.
Hofstra led, 35-32, after a free throw by Jalen Ray with 3:55 left in the first half until the Seahawks outscored the Pride, 10-2, the remainder of the period. Brown’s reverse layup with two ticks left staked the Seahawks to a 42-37 advantage at the break
The Seahawks next play on Tuesday in a rescheduled game at James Madison. The Seahawks and Dukes will meet in a 7 p.m. tip-off at the JMU Convocation Center, beginning a stretch of three games in five days for McGrath’s club.
GAME NOTES: UNCW recorded a series-high with 90 points vs. Hofstra…UNCW stands 8-4 in its last 12 Homecoming games…The Seahawks are 20-19 against the Pride since Hofstra joined the league in 2001-02…UNCW is 7-4 at home this season…UNCW owns a 9-8 advantage over HU at Trask Coliseum…The Pride stands 8-4 in true road games this season…Jacque Brown dished out a career-high seven assists…The Seahawks outrebounded the Pride, 48-33…Jordon Talley‘s 13 points raised his career total to 1,177 points, just 15 shy of 11th all-time scorer Craig Callahan…Justin Wright-Foreman pushed his career total to 1,261 points and Gustys now has 1,117 points and 1,240 career rebounds…There were five ties and six lead changes in the contest.