1st Place Seahaks countinue Winning Streak

By / Local Sports / Tuesday, 16 February 2016 05:00

Streaking Seahawks Dump Dukes For 20-Win Season

WILMINGTON, North Carolina  – UNCW's steamrolling men's basketball team continued its torrid run on Saturday, cranking out its school-record 11th consecutive victory with an 86-78 pounding of James Madison before a sellout crowd on Saturday at Trask Coliseum. The Seahawks maintained their hold on first place in the Colonial Athletic Association standings and stand 20-5 and 12-2 in the conference. It marks the first 20-win season for the program in eight years and the sixth in school history. The Dukes had a three-game winning streak halted and owns a 19-8 overall record and 9-5 league mark. UNCW's registered its fourth conference sweep of the season to complement sweeps of Delaware, Drexel and Elon.
Senior guard Craig Ponder anchored three players in double figures for the Seahawks with 19 points, while junior guard Chris Flemmings scored 17 and grabbed 11 rebounds and sophomore playmaker Jordon Talley contributed 15. Flemmings notched his fourth double-double of the season and added three assists in another all-around effort. Junior forward Tom Vodanovich paced JMU with 17 points and senior guard Winston Grays added 15 points off the bench for the Dukes, who were playing without injured star Ron Curry. Curry suffered a bruised knee in JMU's 56-52 win at Charleston last Thursday at TD Arena.
"James Madison is a scrappy bunch," said Kevin Keatts, UNCW's second-year coach. "They did a very good job on the defensive end. They made us work for every basket that we got. We got some stops in the second half. I thought our press came into play."
UNCW raced out to a 42-29 lead at intermission and withstood a brief charge by the Dukes before cruising down the stretch for its 14th home win in the last 15 games spanning over to last season. It was UNCW's 10th double digit victory of the season and the 21st in Kevin Keatts' two seasons.
After Paulius Satkus scored on a post move with just over 15 minutes remaining, the Seahawks kept on the pressure and led by as many as 19 points in improving to 11-1 at Trask Coliseum this season.
The Seahawks registered their largest lead of the game, 75-56, on a pair of free throws by reserve forward Marcus Bryan. JMU never got closer than eight points in the second half. "All the credit goes to Wilmington at both ends of the court," said eighth-year JMU Head Coach Matt Brady. "You have to be poised for 40 minutes against this group and I think we lost our poise for four or five minutes and that cost us the game. They play with speed, quickness and tenacity and you have to match up with them…it's a little bit uncomfortable. In the first half, JMU forged out to an 18-16 lead midway through the period when Satkus tossed in a pair of free throws with 8:09 left to give the Dukes some early momentum. But the Seahawks answered with a 26-6 run to take control, including an 11-0 spurt that was capped by a three-pointer from the acrobatic Flemmings that gave UNCW a 42-24 cushion at 1:43.
Talley turned in a solid first half, scoring nine points, while Ponder, Flemmings and Ingram each contributed eight points in a balanced attack as the Seahawks scored 10 points off seven JMU turnovers to set the tone early. The Seahawks return to the court on Thursday, Feb. 18, with a matchup against second-place William & Mary at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Va. The Dukes, meanwhile, return home to entertain Northeastern on Thursday at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks won their fourth in a row over the Dukes and now lead the all-time series, 37-33; UNCW stands 20-11 against JMU at Trask Coliseum; The game was UNCW's second sellout in the last three games; Jordon Talley fouled out with 4:33 remaining after scoring 15 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out five assists; The teams battled to a 38-all draw on the boards; UNCW forced 18 turnovers by the Dukes…There were four ties and six lead changes; UNCW had 13 offensive rebounds; The Seahawks went 10-of-28 from long distance and JMU was 4-of-10 from deep; Each team attempted 27 free throws in the contest.


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