UNCW’s backcourt tandem of Addison Spruill and Tanner Milson combined for 47 points and the Seahawks converted 31-of-41 free throws to outslug Liberty 87-76 in a non-conference men’s basketball game Monday night at the Vines Center.
Spruill, a junior college transfer, scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to share scoring honors with Liberty’s Davon Marshall. Milson added 23 points, including 16 in the opening half, while Ben Eblen and Cedrick Williams contributed 13 and 10 for the winners.
In a game that featured 56 fouls and 76 free throw attempts, the Seahawks led wire-to-wire to win for the third time in as many tries against the Flames. Fourth-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson also stayed perfect against Liberty, improving his record to 7-0 against the Virginia-based club.
The Seahawks have reeled off their first three-game winning streak since sweeping four straight games from Dec. 30, 2011, to Jan. 7, 2012.
“I never felt confortable until they missed some shots at the end under 20 seconds,” said Peterson. “We were very flat to start the second half. Tanner had a tremendous first half and Ben did a nice job of making some plays.”
The Seahawks shot a season-best 52.1 percent from the floor and missed just 10 free throws in 41 attempts for 75.6 percent at the charity stripe. The Flames, meanwhile, struggled early, shooting 29.6 percent in the first half, and improved after intermission to finish at 41.8 percent.
In the second half, the Flames managed to score the first five points of the period to close the gap to 36-30, but Eblen’s gliding layup with 15:56 remaining delivered the largest lead of the game for the Seahawks 42-30.
The Seahawks won their third consecutive game and second straight on the road to improve to 3-2 on the season.
UNCW returns to action on Thursday, Nov. 21, at Western Kentucky.