NEWARK, Del. – The UNCW men's basketball team panned more road gold on a snowy night on the Delmarva late Saturday night and third-year skipper Kevin Keatts says the Seahawks are not finished.
The CAA-leading Seahawks (15-2, 4-0) built a working margin and prevailed, 91-81, over host Delaware (7-10, 0-4) to win their fourth straight and sweep a two-game swing through the frigid northeast. The Seahawks are an eye-popping 7-1 in true games and 9-2 in all games away from Trask Coliseum this season
UNCW sits at 4-0 in the CAA for just the third time in school history, joining the 1993-94 and 2001-02 clubs in that lane. The Seahawks can become the first team since UNCW joined the CAA in 1984-85 to open the season at 5-0 in the circuit with a win when William & Mary pays a visit to Trask Coliseum on Thursday.
"We're certainly excited about getting out of here with a win," said Keatts, whose club is tied with Charleston and Northeastern with clean records following four conference contests. "I thought our guys were great. They did a great job of sharing the basketball. Our press was very effective. They made some tough shots at the end.
"As a coach, anytime you can go on the road in this conference and win by double digits, you have to be excited about it."
Like all season, it was a balanced scoring attack that propelled the Seahawks to their ninth double digit victory of the campaign, with all five starters reaching double figures. Delaware never led in the game.
Sophomore C.J. Bryce led the way with a career-high 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting and senior guard Denzel Ingram collected his third 20+ game of the season with 23 points, including 20 in a big second half. Sophomore forward Devontae Cacok scored 16 with 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season and senior guard Chris Flemmings and graduate guard Ambrose Mosley finished with 12 and 11.
Bryce has now reached double figures in 13 consecutive games, second behind only Northeastern's T.J. Williams.
Freshman guard Ryan Daly paced four Blue Hens in double digits with 28 points, followed by sophomore guard Chivarsky Corbett with 18, junior guard Anthony Mosley with 15 and senior guard Cazmon Hayes at 11.
The Seahawks, who blew past Drexel, 90-72, on Thursday in Philadelphia, scooted down to Newark and shot 61.9 percent in the second half and 57.7 percent for the game to cap a challenging five-game stretch in 11 days.
Led by Bryce and Cacok, the Seahawks carved out a 40-35 lead at intermission and survived several runs by the pesky Blue Hens after intermission to win for the fourth time in five games against UD.
UNCW maintained a five-point edge, 50-45, three minutes into the second half when the Blue Hens scored on a layup and Daly's triple finally brought UD even at 50-all. The two teams combined for 35 points behind torrid shooting over the first 5:28 of the second half. The Seahawks canned 6-of-7 shots and the Blue Hens connected on 8-of-10 to stay close.
The Seahawks created some breathing room midway through the final period, though, when Bryce continued his surge and Ingram got into the act. Clinging to a 67-62 advantage, Bryce pumped in a jumper on the left wing and Ingram made a free throw after UD Head Coach Martin Inglesby was tagged with a technical foul. After Corbett converted a driving layup, Ingram set the Blue Hens back again with his fifth trifecta of the game.
UNCW then sealed yet another road win by draining eight consecutive free throws in the final 2:07.
In the opening period, the Seahawks snapped a 12-all tie with 14 consecutive points to gain some early space before the Blue Hens responded.
Mosley dropped in a pair of free throws at 11:37 to cap a six-point rally and tie the score before Flemmings connected on a driving layup to kickstart a 21-2 run over six minutes for the Seahawks. Bryce had nine points in the spurt, including a soft jumper in the paint that padded UNCW's margin to 33-14 with just over six minutes left in the first half.
The Blue Hens answered with a 7-0 mini-run, however, to close the gap to 33-21 and then outscored the Seahawks, 12-4 over the final four minutes of the half to climb within five points at intermission.
The Seahawks open a two-game homestand on Thursday with the 7 p.m. matchup with William & Mary.
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks lead the all-time series, 20-11…UD still leads the series, 8-6, at the Bob Carpenter Center…The Blue Hens scored 38 points in the paint…UNCW went 18-of-25 at the free throw line, including 17-of-22 in the second half…UD came up with 10 steals…UNCW's 13 three-pointers was a season high…Ryan Daly's 28 points was the most by an opponent this season…Denzel Ingram dished out a game-high eight assists…UD's bench outscored UNCW's, 23-2…UNCW had 22 assists on 30 baskets.
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