William & Mary rallied from 12 points down midway through the second half and closed out the game with a 38-8 run over the final 10 minutes to end UNCW’s 11-game winning streak with an 87-69 victory over the Seahawks in Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball action on Thursday at Kaplan Arena.
The Tribe snapped a two-game slide and stand 18-8 overall and 10-5 in the CAA. The Seahawks, who had not lost since Jan. 7 at Towson, are now 20-6 and 12-3.
UNCW remains in first place in the CAA at 12-3, one game ahead of Hofstra (11-4), followed by William & Mary (10-5), James Madison (9-6) and Towson (9-6).
“Our defense wasn’t very good tonight,” said second-year UNCW Head Coach Kevin Keatts. “When you’re playing a team that’s very good offensively like William & Mary, you have to do a better job on the defensive end of the floor.
“They were a better defensive team tonight. If we want to continue to be one of the best teams in the conference, we have to do a better job defensively. We scored enough points to win, but we had too many breakdowns.”
Sophomore guard David Cohn of W&M paced all scorers with 21 points, including 12-of-12 at the free throw line. Junior guard Daniel Dixon added 19 points, senior guard Terry Tarpey scored 16 and senior backcourt mate Omar Prewitt finished with 13.
Junior guard Chris Flemmings led the Seahawks in scoring for the 15th time with 18 points. Junior guard Denzel Ingram was the only other player in double figures for UNCW with 12 points. Sophomore playmaker Jordon Talley also collected a career-high 10 assists for the Seahawks.
W&M avoided a regular season sweep and avenged a 97-94 overtime loss to UNCW on Jan. 16 at Trask Coliseum. The loss also prevented the Seahawks from tying Yale and Stephen F. Austin for the longest winning streak in the NCAA Division I ranks at 12 consecutive victories.
After leading at halftime, 42-38, and pushing the margin to 47-42 on two Tarpey free throws with 16:44 remaining, the Tribe withstood a big spurt by the Seahawks to beat UNCW for the fourth straight time in Williamsburg.
The Seahawks turned the five-point deficit into a 12-point lead with a 19-2 rally, capped by Dylan Sherwood ‘s gliding layup with 10:34 left to put the Seahawks in control, 61-49.
But the Tribe roared back with its decisive run, including 23 unanswered points, to put the Seahawks on their heels. The pesky Tarpey did most of the damage, scoring eight straight points as the Tribe raced out to a 72-61 advantage.
The Seahawks, 7-5 away from home this season, play their 2015-16 road finale on Saturday with a 6 p.m. tip-off against the College of Charleston at TD Arena.