Seahawks Pull Off Stunner Over Northeastern, 75-68

By / Local Sports / Wednesday, 07 January 2015 05:00

In the words of ESPN legendary anchor Stuart Scott, the UNCW men's basketball team was cooler than the other side of the pillow Monday night at Northeastern's historic Matthews Arena.
 Going up against the preseason favorite in the Colonial Athletic Association on its home floor, the Seahawks carved up the heavily favored Huskies for a 75-68 decision to improve to 6-7 overall and 1-1 in the CAA in an early season clash in the conference. Freshman playmaker Jordon Talley led three Seahawks in double figures with a career-high 21 points as UNCW picked up just its second win in eight appearances at the 104-year-old venue. The Huskies, picked to finish first in the 10-team circuit, stand 9-5 and 1-1 after dropping their CAA home opener.
 Talley, a crafty freshman from Richmond, Va., scored 11 points in the first half and added 10 more in the final period to help the Seahawks keep the lead for all but 58 seconds in the convincing win. UNCW shot 62.5 percent in the second half en route to a solid 54.4 percent on the night. "We came on the road and got a very good win against a very good Northeastern team," said first-year Head Coach Kevin Keatts. "I'm proud of these guys and we're very excited. "I thought we shared the ball and matured tonight. We played to our strengths. Jordon (Talley) was great. He grew up as a freshman. He set the tone for us defensively and got everybody going. Anytime you win on the road in the conference, you have to have some toughness to you."
 In addition to Talley's career night, senior guard Addison Spruill poured in 20 points and senior guard Freddie Jackson chipped in 18. Sophomore center Chuck Ogbodo grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
 Junior sharpshooter David Walker paced four Huskies in double figures with 16 points. Redshirt senior forward Scott Eatherton collected a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Zach Stahl and junior guard Quincy Ford chipped in 10 apiece. The Seahawks entered the contest trying to score inside against the Huskies and the game plan worked to perfection. "We went into this game trying to get paint touches to be able to score," said Keatts.
UNCW scored 16 of its first 21 points in the paint and kept up the inside attack the rest of the night, closing with 42 of 75 points in the lane.
The Seahawks jumped out quickly on the Huskies, held on for a three-point lead at halftime and turned back several rallies by the Huskies to win their second straight over Bill Coen's team. In the second half, UNCW was clinging to a 46-43 advantage when Talley keyed a nine-point spurt that gave the Seahawks some separation. Jackson capped the rally when he connected on a layup with 7:41 remaining.
Just minutes later, Spruill's jumper gave the Seahawks their largest lead of the game, 60-45, at the 5:06 mark.
The Huskies narrowed the deficit to seven points on five occasions the rest of the way, but couldn't get over the hump against the inspired Seahawks.
Led by Talley, the Seahawks played a spirited opening 20 minutes and led by as many as nine points in the first half. Talley made 5-of-7 shots and ran the team well to offset a 54.5 percent shooting performance by the Huskies in the half.
The Seahawks came out firing on all cylinders and jumped out to a 10-1 lead on a turnaround jumper by C.J. Gettys on the left baseline at 16:32. Five different players scored as UNCW converted five of its first eight field goal attempts.
The Huskies regrouped with a 13-4 run and finally knotted the game at 14-all on a triple by Walker at 11:52.
UNCW responded, however, and took a 25-17 advantage on Spruill's driving layup with just over eight minutes remaining before NU sliced the lead to one point again.
Talley then scored seven of UNCW's final nine points in the half to give the Seahawks a 34-31 edge at intermission.
The Seahawks return home to begin a two-game homestand against defending CAA champion Delaware on Thursday in a 7 p.m. start at Trask Coliseum before entertaining Drexel late Saturday. The Huskies, meanwhile, travel to Harrisonburg, Va., Thursday to take on James Madison at the JMU Convocation Center.
GAME NOTES: Northeastern leads the all-time series by an 8-7 margin…The Seahawks had just 10 turnovers while forcing 13 NU miscues…Freddie Jackson paced UNCW with four assists…The Seahawks had just two three-pointers…Freddie Jackson played 38 of 40 minutes…UNCW's starters went 27-of-44 from the field…Chuck Ogbodo had two blocks…The Huskies shot 54.5 percent in the first half, but cooled off to 40 percent after the break…The game was tied just once…UNCW Head Coach Kevin Keatts picked up a win in his first road game in the CAA…The Seahawks have won three of their last four against the Huskies.

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