Seahawks outlast Tribe in CAA OT thriller

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Denzel Ingram (photo courtesy UNCW Sports)
Denzel Ingram (photo courtesy UNCW Sports)

Junior guard Denzel Ingram poured in a career-high 30 points and knocked down a school-record tying eight three-pointers to lift UNCW past William & Mary, 97-94, in a Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball overtime classic Saturday at Trask Coliseum.

The surging Seahawks won their third in a row to raise their record to 12-5 overall and 4-2 in the CAA. William & Mary had its four-game winning streak snapped and stands at 12-5 and 4-2 as well.

Ingram, a bouncy 6-0, 170-pound guard from Charlotte, N.C., shook off an early game injury to make 10-of-17 shots and drain 8-of-13 triples to anchor four players in double figures and notch the team’s first 30-point game of the season.

Freshman guard C.J. Bryce scored 20 points, junior guard Chris Flemmings had 19 points and sophomore guard Jordon Talley chipped in 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Seahawks, who shot better than 50 percent for the third consecutive game with a 54.1 percent aim.

Senior forward Sean Sheldon and junior forward Omar Prewitt had 20 points apiece for the Tribe, which had a six-game winning streak over the Seahawks fall by the wayside. Senior guard Terry Tarpey and sophomore guard David Cohn added 14 points each and sophomore guard Greg Malinowski pitched in 12 for Tony Shaver’s club. Cohn also dished out 11 assists for a double-double.

“It was an unbelievable game,” said UNCW Head Coach Kevin Keatts. “It thought it was a great CAA game with each team going back and forth scoring. Our guys played with a lot of energy and executed the game plan. We mixed up shooting three’s, drove the ball to the hole and got to the free throw line. We did a great job with all of those.”

Neither team led by more than six points and the tightly contested game featured 11 ties and 18 lead changes. The Seahawks made five of six shots and outscored the Tribe, 14-11, in the sudden death period. W&M, meanwhile, scored 46 of its 94 points in the paint and had 20 assists on 34 baskets.

“The key was we could never get stops,” said Shaver. “We couldn’t get the sequence of stops we wanted. We just couldn’t stop them.”

Ingram, a transfer from UNC Charlotte, excelled in the spotlight on Saturday, tying John Goldsberry’s single game record of eight triples made vs. Maryland in the NCAA Tournament on March 21, 2003, in Nashville. Ingram did break UNCW’s single game record vs. a CAA opponent, eclipsing the record of seven treys shared by all-time great Brett Blizzard and Stan Simmons.

The Tribe, playing without its second leading scorer in junior guard Daniel Dixon, missed an opportunity to win the game in regulation when Cohn’s jumper on the right wing bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

In the OT period, UNCW grabbed the lead, 95-94, on a pair of critical free throws by Bryce with 18 seconds left, but Prewitt was stripped of the ball on the next possession with four seconds showing. The Tribe immediately fouled Ingram, who dropped in a pair of free throws.

The Seahawks opted to foul Cohn when the ball was inbounded, but the speedy sophomore missed his first free throw and made an intentional wild attempt on the second shot with hopes of getting the rebound and getting up a game-tying three-ball. Neither happened and UNCW moved to 7-1 at home in a wild finish.

The two teams opened the second half red-hot, with UNCW canning four of its first five shots and W&M draining 6-of-7 field goals.

A Flemmings three-ball delivered a 49-46 lead for the Seahawks with just 17 minutes left to play, but the Tribe responded with seven straight points to build a 53-49 edge. UNCW then pieced together a 7-2 rally to forge ahead again before the Tribe answered once more.

With the game tied 83-all near the end of regulation, Ingram missed a jumper with 17 seconds on the clock, but Cohn’s attempt on the right wing bounced away, sending the game into overtime for only the fourth time in the 66-game series.

UNCW scored the first five points of the game and made of its first five field goal attempts to grab an early 10-4 advantage before the Tribe got things going.

After a pair of free throws by C.J. Gettys gave UNCW a 19-13 lead, the Tribe roared back, cranking out a 16-4 run to gain some early separation. Sheldon’s layup with 3:49 left in the first period capped a string of nine straight points on the back end of the spurt and staked W&M to a 29-23 margin.

The Seahawks then outscored the Tribe, 12-5, over the remainder of the first half to take a 35-34 edge into the break. Ingram finished the first half with 12 points and Sheldon had 10 in a tight opening period.

UNCW completes a two-game homestand on Thursday when Delaware pays its annual visit to Trask Coliseum.

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