The resilient Seahawks snapped a three-game losing streak in a big way on Wednesday, recording their second straight double digit victory following 76-56 over Missouri-Kansas City to improve to 7-3 this season.
“I thought we played well as a team,” said Kevin Keatts, UNCW’s second-year head coach. “Everybody that got into the game played with a lot of energy and played very well. We also shared the basketball well with 18 assists on 25 baskets.
“We played these two games like we did the first five. We got back to playing UNCW basketball. I’m happy for the guys going into the Christmas break.”
In the first meeting between the two teams, the Seahawks, who throttled Utah Valley in their tourney opener on Tuesday, controlled UMKC out of the Western Athletic Conference from the outset to build a comfortable 16-point lead at halftime and cruising down the stretch.
Senior guard Craig Ponder led the Seahawks with 14 points and received an award for being the team’s Outstanding Player in the event. Ponder scored 29 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four steals in the two wins. Freshman guard C.J. Bryce added 12 points and four assists and junior guard Denzel Ingram had 11 points for UNCW.
UNCW carved out a working margin of 44-28 at intermission and watched as UMKC closed the gap to 10 points before the Seahawks put the game away.
The Seahawks break for the Christmas holiday before returning to the floor on Monday, Dec. 28, for an 8 p.m. matchup against longtime state rival Campbell.