Local athletes make college hoops contributions

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Heading through the final month of the regular season, standouts from the Wilmington area continue to contribute on the hardwood for their respective universities and colleges across the country.

As the only area athlete competing for a Top 25 Division I program, Kadeem Allen knocked down a key three-pointer with 1:01 left as the shot clock expired and No. 23 Arizona held on for a 77-72 win over Washington on Saturday.

Allen’s big shot gave the Wildcats a 75-70 lead. It was just his second basket of the game after missing his first six attempts.

The New Hanover alum has started in 23 games for the Wildcats, who moved to 19-5 overall and 7-4 in PAC-12 play following the victory. Allen is shooting 47 percent from the floor, averaging 8.5 points per game. He has a team-high 93 assists.

Currently, Arizona is third in PAC-12, two games back from league leader Oregon.

In the Big South Conference, Elijah Wilson (Laney) poured in 19 points to guide Coastal Carolina to its seventh straight win 72-60 over Radford.  Wilson’s team-high 19 points came on 6-of-14 from the field, 3-of-8 from three and 4-of-4 at the free-throw line.

The Laney product is averaging a team-high 14.3 points and 30.9 minutes per game for the resurgent Chanticleers. Coastal Carolina is 15-8 on the year and 9-4 in league play.

Wilson, the reigning Big South Tournament MVP, is shooting 37.3 percent from long range. He has a team-high 57 treys this season.

Saadiq Johnson. Photo courtesy- Averett University
Saadiq Johnson. Photo courtesy- Averett University

Coastal Carolina is one game behind UNC-Asheville for top spot in conference. Wilson is eighth in Big South scoring average.

The University of North Georgia men’s basketball team snapped its 10-game slide in dramatic fashion with a 91-90 overtime win at Montevallo on Saturday afternoon. T.J. Williams (Ashley) had 14 points in the effort.

Averaging 13.5 points per game, Williams is second on the team in scoring. He’s started all 23 games for the Nighthawks, shooting 54.7 percent from the floor. Williams has scored 19 points or more in six occasions with season, with a team-high 26 against Clayton State on January 9.

Tyre Gathright has seen action in 15 games as a freshman for North Georgia, averaging 11.5 minutes per game.

At the division III level, freshman Saadiq Johnson (West Brunswick) went 3-for-4 from three-point range on his way to a career-high 12 points for Averett University in a 78-75 road win at Maryville College on Saturday.

Leading by two with 4:24 left in regulation, Johnson nailed two huge shots from beyond the arc to help secure the result.

Averett is 15-7 overall and 6-5 in USA South Conference play. Johnson has seen increased minutes over the past few weeks in his rookie season for the Cougars.

Gray Cheers (West Brunswick) and Nick Chase (Coastal Christian) have seen action in every game for the Hampden-Sydney basketball team this season. Cheers averages 10.6 minutes per game in his first college season, shooting 13 of 24 from long range.

Other players suited up for college basketball programs this season include: Nigel Holley (East Tennessee State), Trae Bryant (UNC-Asheville), Stilman White (North Carolina)

In women’s hoops, Tiana Edwards (Laney) has been sidelined for much of the year for Winston-Salem State.

Sophomore Brianna Baham is averaging 20.8 points per game for Brunswick Community College. She had back-to-back 23-point performances in setbacks to Louisburg College and Patrick Henry Community College, Feb. 6-7.

Paulette Addison (Laney) is averaging 18.5 minutes per game for North Greenville University, while Jada Bacchus (Ashley) and Felecity Havens (Ashley) see increased minutes for Mount Olive College.

Havens dropped 18 points in a 70-67 win on Feb. 6. In 15 games played this season, Havens is averaging 8. 1 points and five rebounds per game.

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